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St Philip's School - 6th February

We have had an excellent first half of term with our St Philip's Debating & Interview Club - with impressive contributions across the group. For this week we looked at the skill of speaking with 'conviction' and with particular emphasis on affirmative tone, active voice, and careful vocabulary choice.

Our warm up question asked:

'What would you like to be when you are older?'

This saw a tremendous selection of ideas given including inter alia business leaders, politicians, teachers, footballers, cricketers, designers, doctors and philosophers. 

Our newsround saw topics raised from the Middle East to more local UK news on crime, the labour position on Green investment and in the US the questioning by the Senate of Social Media and Technology CEOs/CFOs. 


We tackled two debates this week with a focus on social media, technology and AI:

(i) Following the questioning in the USA of major Social Media and AI companies last week, including Mark Zuckerberg, we asked who is responsible for child safety online?

We presented the group with three options: Technology companies; Government; Family/Parents. 

In each telling we saw a split vote across the three options, with the majority voting for a combination of all three, but throughout the discussion the pressure remained firmly on technology companies to raise their efforts in improving the situation.  

(ii) As a follow-up question, we asked: 'Are we being too negative on technology, social media and AI at present?'

This include a return/reference to the previous week's session on coding and programming languages in schools. 

The majority voted in favour of the motion, i.e. that we are being too negative and that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. In each case caveats were drawn to help improve safety, but to engage with progress and in education to be at the forefront in the UK. 

Well done all and we look forward to resuming post half term. 

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