We were delighted to work with St Philip's School in a Debating and Public Speaking Workshop for their finalists. Their Year 8 pupils showed great perception and aptitude for presentation, rhetoric and wider argumentation skills.
The session was split into three parts:
(i) Skills and top tips for public speaking - from interviews to class presentations, to debating - these included posture and active listening, as well as rhetorical devices;
(ii) A more philosophical debate (on the back of the topical Queen's historic Platinum Jubilee) - asking whether 'This House would prefer a monarchy to a republic';
(iii) The classic current affairs motion, on government legislation around electric cars - 'This House would implement the ban in 2030 on the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars'.
Both debates divided the room, with a majority in favour of monarchy, whilst the 2030 ban was rejected by a small margin. Voting remained relatively consistent throughout the session with some small changes at the second telling. These were strongly argued subjects, with naturally entrenched views on both sides, but we were thrilled to see active listening and the group picking up on arguments and points they had not heard before, and at that point reconsidering their position.
We were hugely impressed with the quality of speeches and points of information on display and much look forward to the debating competition with WCCS next week!