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St Philip’s School - 26th September

This was another fast-paced session with our St Philip's debating club with a focus on two main topics: whether to ban XL Bully dogs? and whether the Prime Minister is right that Mathematics and English should be made compulsory subjects until the age of 18.

As is now the custom in our club sessions, the group started with presentations on key news stories of the week. Well done all on such impressive contributions, covering inter alia the crisis between Armenia and Azerbaijan, HS2, Rishi Sunak's plans on net zero, the Rugby Union World Cup, and the War in Ukraine.

Our key skill of the week centred on endings and summary speeches and as a warm-up we asked the classic interview question: 'what is your favourite hobby?' Points were awarded for detail and personalisation.

We then turned to the proposed ban on XL Bully dogs and the strong opposition shown by animal charities to this ban. The group split 25%/75% - with the motion rejected at both tellings (on a ban). It was felt very strongly that whilst something must be done, it was to the owner and breeder that the fire of legislation should turn and not at the animal. It was great to see so many rhetorical questions being used and evidence to justify the arguments given.

Compulsory Mathematics and English to A-level: with the UKs ranking so low in the global league tables for Mathematics, it was argued with considerable promise that more had to be done and that Rishi Sunak's steps were a sensible solution for the future of education in the UK. However, the opposition (and the majority) felt that such a move undermined all other subjects that might be equally as important from Science, to foreign languages, History to Geography and that his move would ignore the value of the arts as articulated by the actor James Norton. Here we worked on endings and summary speaking and it was marvellous to see the progress made by both the opposition and proposition.

Another superb session of debating! Roll on next week.

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