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The Socratic Club - 3rd September

It was great to begin our Michaelmas term of Socratic club sessions and to catch up with our Junior and Senior groups after the summer break. We were very impressed with the level of debating and the sophistication of argumentation shown along with excellent referencing of current affairs.

We began with a warm-up set of introductions focusing on special holiday moments and on key body language skills for interview work as well as public speaking and debating. Each group also spent time thinking about the skills they would like to work on this term. We also engaged with evidence, stories and questions as key ways to make compelling points.

In fast-paced sessions we covered an array of different topics with some excellent active listening and fascinating voting.

We picked up from our Summer term technology debate to ask whether we have too much technology at school/in education?

The Junior Group voted 84% for too much; whilst the Senior Group also agreed with the motion but with a smaller majority of 60%. Both sides felt it was a case of 'at what age' this was decided and saw the benefits too from remote learning to documentaries and computer technology skills.

With BBC Sunday politics looking at the RAAC Concrete debacle in schools we asked whether Jeremy Hunt was right to say the 'Government should spend whatever it takes' to fix the problem?

The Junior Group by 86% in the first vote; and 67% in the second telling felt he was right, but a strong opposition argued for the builders responsible and construction companies to sort it out rather than the tax payer.

The Senior Group was evenly split on this vote, but accepted that something must be done and quickly.

In the light of the Space exploration missions of the summer from India and Russia - the Socratic club asked whether it was right to invest in space exploration? With a particular focus on India and Russia.

The Junior Group voted 57% in both tellings in favour of the motion. The Senior Group followed suit but with a larger majority of 75%. The balanced arguments and approaches provided were extremely impressive. Not everyone, however, wished to be an astronaut or take up the opportunity if it emerged, but all saw the benefits of satellites and the technology advances from space discovery. There were also concerns raised about a new Space Race age following that of the Cold War.

At the end of each session we touched on the recent Cabinet reshuffle of Rishi Sunak and reflected on the UK weather of the summer holidays.

Not everyone was impressed with Grant Shapps '5 jobs in one year' culminating in his new position of Defence secretary. That said, it was also strongly pointed out that a minimum term for Cabinet roles, would have huge problems and there was no easy fix/solution. Likewise Climate change and Global warming featured heavily in discussions of weather, wild fires and a wet/cold British Summer.

Overall a superb starting set of sessions for this term - well done all!

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

Museum Tour TBC

(In Person)

(Junior and Senior)

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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