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St. Kitts International Academy Debating & Public Speaking Club - 14th May

This was another superb session at our SKI Debating & Public Speaking Club.

Our skill focus this week looked at Active Listening - and how best to engage with other speeches and points - with rebuttal and constructive supporting arguments. Well done the group for then implementing this skill so successfully throughout the club. 

For our warm up we then turned to our interview style philosophical question with an emphasis on 'why'/justification?:

'Is sport more important than music?'

Here arguments centred on health, both physical and mental, and encouraging different skills as well as teamwork. The old motto came to mind: mens sana in corpore sano - a healthy mind in a healthy body. The group voted unanimously that both music and sport were important and it should not be a choice. 

Our newsround saw reference to the new portrait of King Charles III, AI, and events in India with the election there. 

The painting of the King prompted a climate discussion and a focus on his Cop28 speech 'the earth does not belong to us / we belong to it'. This then linked to a debate on efforts to protect butterflies worldwide and the national trust project in the UK to help the fritillary butterfly. We also explored organic farming and whether that was preferable to other forms of farming. 

Our main debate looked at the current discussion in Westminster politics (and internationally) on school absence linked to illness (in addition to the same workplace debate).

We asked in our motion, 'Should this House fine families if their children don't go to school?'

The majority voted in favour arguing that other than for very good reason, children should not be missing school and it was essential to their wellbeing. However, it was also argued that more needed to be done to understand why children are missing school for days on end (without a reason) and that greater care and attention would be needed there, rather than a straightforward fine. More discussion/conversation was also sought between the family and the school before getting to a fine. It was a nuanced debate with tremendous maturity shown across the floor. 

We ended with a brief discussion on politicians changing sides and what we felt about that (in the wake of two defections from the Conservative party to the Labour party in recent weeks in the UK) - and with a focus on Winston Churchill's line (his moves across from the conservative party to the liberal party and then back again): 'Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.' 

A super session - well done all!

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