Not daunted by their previous two and half hour long Zoom competition in January, three teams from Broomfield School represented our community in the UCL Schools Debating tournament for the entire day on 13th February (with an 8.30am sign in on the first day of the holiday!).
The competition was fierce with other teams signed up from Westminster School and Eton College, to name just two. The event was held on Discord so I had to be trained by the pupils in how to use it first! Our pupils spoke for five minutes each, in three debates lasting an hour. This time they had to use the British Parliamentary Debating style – with only fifteen minutes’ notice to prepare, with no teacher support. The motions were ‘All internships should be paid’, secondly ‘This House believes in a system of radical political transparency’ and finally ‘This House believes that in a country with strong conservative values, families should raise their children as feminists’.
It was a genuine privilege to be able to move between hearing Ethem as Prime Minister in one virtual room, to George being Leader of the Opposition, in another. Isaac remained eloquent and composed while wittily countering attempts to put him off from his train of thought. Niki was mistaken for a politics A level student, with her confident interjections. Irina and Vahid both spoke with detailed and persuasive arguments, and all in all, it was very impressive. We can’t wait for the next debating championship! A huge thanks to Ms Adamou for sitting in on all the Zoom practices and cheering us on.
What our pupils say about their experiences:
“I have realised that resilience is key. I may not have come first but it’s the experience that counts.”
“My experience with debating with UCL was thrilling and rather exciting as I was competing with people I didn't even know it was great fun.”
“As a competitor in the Schools’ Mace debate, I felt excited to even be participating and I also felt incredibly nervous as it was my first debate ever. So as a rookie, I felt the need to keep my ears constantly listening to everything that anybody was saying so as not to mess up our plan to win. This made me concentrate on a level I doubt I ever have before and I would like to thank the Mace for this. Debating is very good fun!”
“Debating is an excellent reminder that we need to be focussed, responsible and respectful to everyone.”