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The Socratic Club - 12th May

This weekend we saw a most impressive set of Socratic Club sessions. 

Our skill focus this week looked at presentation/and argumentation with the use of a list format. Not only does this provide structure, it is also particularly useful in a conclusion or summary speech as a way to cover lots of material quickly whilst highlighting key points. 

For our warm up we then turned to our interview style question with an emphasis on 'why'?:

'Tell us about a book you have recently read and enjoyed?' The key here was to look for detail and explanation (not forgetting author's name). 

From Dahl, to Tolkien, Pullman and Agatha Christie we were given some wonderful examples, with excellent exposition. 

Our newsround saw reference to Taylor Swift's Paris concert, the Northern Lights, the war in Ukraine, Eurovision, and events in the Middle East, the return of King Charles III to public duties, VE day, Russia's 9th May celebration/anniversary and the ongoing crisis for Boeing.  

In the Junior Group we explored British values - what democracy meant and what mattered to us from Tolerance to being kind to others and showing humility. In the Senior Group we explored the current debate on school absence linked to illness (in addition to the same workplace debate).  

We then turned to our set-piece debates:

The first on the Space Race, 20th century history and NASA's latest efforts with Boeing's Starliner. 

(i) The motion: 'This House would invest more in Space Discovery' & 'Should NASA build their own machinery or buy from the market?' In the first case, the Junior group voted in favour at both tellings of further investment arguing that it was a vital for the world to look beyond the planet and to increase efforts to improve satellites and discovery; by contrast the Senior group rejected the motion looking for alternative investment on key themes/topics such as education, climate change, the oceans and transport links. Given Boeing's recent performance, both groups voted in favour of NASA making their own. 

On the back of the 30 year anniversary of the Channel Tunnel, our second debate asked: 

(ii) 'Would this House invest in more undersea trains?' 

The Junior group was again split at both tellings, but this time with a majority against the motion. Cost, lack of planning/budget and concern as to safety weighed heavily on the debate and voting.

In the Senior group we also asked:

(iii) 'Should we eat less meat to help the planet?'

Here, the focus turned to modifying the motion, so as to encourage a more varied diet and better ethically produced meat (higher animal welfare) rather than some form of ban or restriction.  

Concern was also given over to food production, job creation and health. 

An outstanding set of debates and discussion - well done all! 

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