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The Socratic Club - 10th December



This was a superb final session of term for our Junior and Senior Socratic club groups. Our skill of the week looked at POIs and we also returned to rebuttal. With a wider legal perspective from barrister Edmund (https://www.5essex.co.uk/profile/edmund-gross/) we also focussed on signposting with our debating - making sure to innumerate points - and the importance of active listening. 


For our warm-up we looked at the interview question 'what is your favourite holiday destination?' Answers ranged from wonderfully descriptive venues including Switzerland, Italy, Turkey and further afield to India, Japan and South America; to turning the question around and focussing on the people one is with when on holiday and the importance of family. We also heard about very impressive staycations and activities from riding to cooking and extensive reading. The balance of interest, culture and people showed that both groups had a firm grasp of how to present/answer this question.


Following a wide-ranging newsround (with a focus on COP28), our first debating topic this week centred on the political row over the Elgin Marbles with the group split over whether they should be moved from the British Museum to Greece? or whether they should stay? or whether they should be on loan as per the former Chancellor George Osborne's suggestion? or the role of Turkey (the then Ottoman Empire) and whether they should have a claim? It was a fascinating debate with the voting divided throughout with no consensus on what to do. This was echoed in both Junior and Senior groups.


Arguments involved:


- Preservation/Conservation of the items

- Culture & Diversity

- Morality 

- The Danger of Transportation

- Practicality vs Politics 

- A question of Precedent for other Museums 

- The ability for the world to see the Elgin Marbles without charge at the British Museum 

- The idea of a loan or sharing the items 

- History 

- Law


This was an outstanding debate with tremendous argumentation from both groups.


Our second debating motion looked at the question of an unhealthy food/fast food ban/sugar tax as per questions put towards the new Health Secretary. 


Here both groups were also split with arguments including inter alia:


- the health of the country

- the NHS and waiting lists

- freedom of choice 

- quality or taste of the food 

- jobs and the wider economic hit of any ban or further tax

- improving existing legislation on sugar taxation


Very well done all for such impressive debating this term and our superb newsround discussions. It has also been great to see both groups develop their skills and then incorporate these into are debates. We have been particularly impressed with the active listening shown by both Junior and Senior groups and also the tremendous questions and points raised by members in our sessions. 


Greatly looking forward to resuming sessions in January!


With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you all.


Lent Term Dates 2024


7th January

Junior Group (11 am) & Senior Group (4 pm)


21st January

Junior Group (11 am) & Senior Group (4 pm)


4th February

Junior Group (11 am) & Senior Group (4 pm)


18th February

Junior Group (11 am) & Senior Group (4 pm)


3rd March

Junior Group (11 am) & Senior Group (4 pm)


17th March

Junior Group (11 am) & Senior Group (4 pm)


24th March

Junior Group (11 am) & Senior Group (4 pm)



Workshops & Events


14th January

Interview Workshop & Group Debating

(Junior & Senior) (11 am)


24th February

Museum Tour

(Junior & Senior) TBC





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