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The Socratic Club - 24th September

This was another fast-paced set of Socratic club sessions with our Junior and Senior Groups.

Our warm-up took on the key interview question of 'what is your favourite subject?' Here we were looking for more than just a basic interest, but rather applying the skills of evidence and stories covered this term to provide a compelling argument with detail, conviction and personalisation.

As ever we did a newsround review covering key topics from world news - from Libya to NASA Space news, from flooding in the UK to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The range of points made from local to global headlines really showed the extent to which members are engaging with what is happening in the world and digesting The Week Junior, The Week, and other daily news briefings. As the senior session went on we even had the group contributing the headlines from Ukraine and Kosovo. Hugely impressive!

Our main topics of the day focussed on Libya, HS2 and whether Space Technology/investment should be top priorities for government?

The Junior Group looked particularly at food and healthcare support for Libya ahead of a more simple financial contribution. There were concerns noted that with Morocco and potential other natural disasters there needed to be a strategy for how to deal with financial support, how to allocate resources and how to help potential refugees from such events.

The Junior Group voted 75% in favour of cancelling the whole HS2 project with the argument 'don't spend good money after bad'. Other priorities weighed heavily from schools and education following the RAAC concrete crisis, to the NHS and wider healthcare.

The Senior group started out evenly split with a strong voice for a high speed line connecting England and Scotland. However, climate concerns, environmental damage and cost held sway to find many at then end in favour of stopping the whole project, or simply building the link to Birmingham and no further. No one was impressed with the Government's position or the Grant Shapps BBC interview of the Sunday morning, not least because he had been the transport secretary. The Labour opposition fared little better with our groups on review as it was hard to work out what their position was.

Our second motion turned to Space exploration: Given the tantalizing prospect of life being seen by the James Webb telescope we split into opposition and proposition to ask whether the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak should have space exploration as a top priority of government.

The Junior Group rejected the motion, with 75% voting in favour of other priorities. It was recognised that space was vital for satellite communication but it was not seen as a top priority ahead of education and welfare. The Senior Group followed suit with a similar line, but we did see voting moving across both groups with some excellent active listening. It was also great to see both sides using rhetorical questions and answering POIs.

Well done all on outstanding debating!

Autumn Term Dates 2023

3rd September

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

10th September

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

24th September

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

8th October

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

5th November

Socratic Club - Workshop on English Language & Vocabulary

(Junior and Senior) (11 am)

10th December

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

Workshops & Events

14th October

Apsley House

The Wellington Collection & Wellington Arch Tour

(In Person)

(Junior and Senior) (11am)

19th November

Interview Workshop & Group Debating

(Junior and Senior) (11 am)

26th November

Socratic Club Autumn Competition & Certification

(In Person)

(Junior and Senior)

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