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St Philip's School - 20th February

This was an excellent post 'Half Term' debating session with our St Philip's Debating & Interview Club and congratulations too to three of our members for their performance in the Queen's Gate Debating Competition. For this week we looked at the critical debating skill of working as a 'team'. The majority of debating competitions are held in team format, and  those participating will be expected to work with others to succeed. For those wanting to win a debate, to be convincing as possible, harmony and teamwork are a priority - we discussed the apt line: 'teamwork divides the task, multiplies the success'. with 'conviction' and with particular emphasis on affirmative tone, active voice, and careful vocabulary choice.

Our warm up question asked:

'What was the highlight of your 'Half Term'?

This saw a wonderful selection of ideas and activities including: skiing, catching up with friends and families, travel to Poland and trips to the Cotswolds, and sporting and educational camps amongst others.

Our newsround saw topics raised from the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Gaza, Red Sea Shipping disruption, the death of Alexei Navalny, and football updates. 

We tackled two debates this week with a focus on the forthcoming budget, placing the group in the shoes of Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer:

(i) 'This House would spend more money on education rather than on healthcare'?  

The group split 50/50 after the first vote and remained consistently split for the remainder of the debate. Of course this was in essence a 'chicken and egg' question with many seeing healthcare as vital to getting on in life, but at the same time education as critical to provide the doctors, nurses and medical advances to provide that healthcare. Both sides argued that school provision and the NHS needed greater funding to help Britain remain competitive in the 21st century. 

Our second debate looking at energy security (again with public spending in the spotlight) was on the motion:

(ii) 'This House would invest in more Nuclear Power (for energy)'.

Here again we saw the group divided - with the main points focussing on creating energy security and bringing energy bills down against the fear of risk/nuclear disaster. The case study or example of France came up time and again (the idea that the UK cannot isolate itself from Nuclear risk given proximity), against the idea of anything that would provide greater risk for the UK onshore. Overall the voting remained 50/50 at the end of the debate.

Well done all for some impressive teamwork and the signposting provided by many of our speakers. 

Much looking forward to next week!

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