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The Socratic Club & Nimble Minds - 1st March

It was a delight to work again with Nimble Minds for a group session on debating.

Contributions were very impressive and we covered a range of different topics: both current affairs centred, but also on the verbal reasoning/philosophical side. We also liked very much the way the children responded to voting on each motion and how many of them showed tremendous active listening skills.

The topics:

(1) 'This House would only walk to school'

- given the tube strike, this was an excellent opportunity to test the group on health, global warming and how they like to approach each day in London/the city.

The motion was rejected, with the majority in favour of alternative transportation given distance to school, the risk of being late and arriving too tired. Nevertheless, the group also saw the merits of the classic motto: 'a healthy mind in a healthy body' ('Mens sana in corpore sano').

(2) 'This House thinks Art is more important than Science'

Here experiments - whether microscopes, medicine or volcano studies (!) trumped the value of art, although many in the group did see the powerful use and significance of music, language and writing.

(3) 'This House would not have a school uniform'

For this debate we split into two groups. Argumentation was superb with many focussing on recognition, safety, concentration and pride with a uniform (such as with a football kit), to those that saw the merit in being comfortable at school and also the problems of cost for some families for each new item for each year and particularly when joining a new school.

Well done all!

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