Well done all at our St Philip's Debating & Interview Club for making such tremendous progress this term with incorporating key skills and the quality of argumentation shown.
For our skill this week we turned to the importance of summaries and how to use notes with public speaking.
Our newsround involved US politics, a potential wider conflict with Iran following the death of US troops in Jordan, the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea/Yemen, and the proposed smoking and vaping ban in the UK.
Our warm-up question asked:
(a) tell us something interesting about the world?; and (b) tell us something interesting about you?
It was marvellous to hear about so many different talents and interests from space, astronomy and language skills to facts about Ancient Greece and the Planet more generally.
We tackled two debates this week.
The first on the motion for a forthcoming competition at Queen's Gate School:
(i) 'This House believes all children should be required to learn coding and programming languages in school'.
The group voted overwhelmingly in favour at both tellings, seeing these languages as key opportunities for future jobs in a world dominated by AI. There was concern that children should be taught the latest coding languages rather than those that might quickly be obsolete given the fast paced nature of technological innovation. The opposition argued that the focus on core education skills such as reading, writing and numeracy should not be overlooked in any changes to the system.
Our second motion followed the likelihood (post primaries thus far) of a Biden vs Trump contest for the US presidency and the possibility of another term with an octogenarian leader in the Whitehouse. We debated the motion:
(ii) 'This House believes that age matters when it comes to Presidential or Prime Ministerial leadership?'
Overwhelmingly the group voted in favour of experience and not having some form of mandatory retirement age. The key to keeping in touch it was argued was making sure that the team around a leader kept up-to-speed with the interests and priorities of voters from all age categories. Many felt that age brought experience with examples such as Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II.