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The Socratic Club - 18th February

This was a superb set of Socratic Club sessions at the end of 'Half Term'. Our skill focus this week looked at working as a 'team'. Most debating is held in a team format and those participating will be expected to work with others to succeed. For those wanting to win a debate, to be convincing as possible, harmony and teamwork are an obligation - we discussed the apt line: 'teamwork divides the task, multiplies the success'. 

Our warm up question asked:

What was the highlight of your 'Half Term'?

This saw a superb list of activities, but importantly with excellent justification for 'why' they were highlights.

The list included amongst others:

Skiing, New York, China, Amsterdam and Iceland travel, seeing Grandparents, Club and Sporting activities/camps, and trips to Hampton Court Palace and the House of Commons. 

Our newsrounds were extremely impressive including reference to: the forthcoming Paris Olympics, the War in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza, Fast Fashion, Concrete in Schools, Space discoveries and the death of Alexei Navalny. 

Our debating motions:

With a budget on the horizon and news of a recession at the end of 2023, we asked:

(i) 'This House would spend more money on education rather than on healthcare'.  

The Junior Group began by rejecting the motion (63% against) with considerable concern over long waiting lists in the NHS and the importance of health for a productive life - both in terms of happiness and in terms of productivity in work. However, as the debate went on whilst acknowledging this is very much a 'chicken and egg' discussion the voting moved, with the argument centred on the need for education to make medical advances and to provide the next generation of medical professionals. In the second telling 75% voted in favour of the motion. The Senior Group debate followed suit, but with a smaller majority of 57% in the second telling. 

Our second debate (again with public spending in mind) was on the motion:

(ii) 'This House would invest in more Nuclear Power (for energy)'.

Here the Junior and Senior Group differed significantly in voting. The Junior Group rejected the motion at both tellings with considerable concerns over the risks involved and what to do when decommissioning nuclear power stations. The Senior Group, however, used the example of France and cheaper energy bills (in the cost of living) as justification for more investment and unanimously supported the idea at the second telling. Both sessions saw some fascinating points made and excellent active listening and teamwork. 

Our final discussion in the Senior Session looked at the death of Navalny and what next for Ukraine with the war appearing to have moved to a stalemate. Well done all for keeping up with the news and for such erudite comments. 

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