Debating Society

Would you publish an offensive cartoon if you were a newspaper editor? Should the next James Bond be played by a woman? Should senior judges be elected? These and many other engaging topics are keenly discussed in the twice-weekly meetings of the Debating Society.

The Oxford and Southern Schools competitions were great experiences. I've learned so much.

Terri Ha, President of the Debating Society 2014-15

The society enters teams for many of the most challenging and stimulating national competitions, including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, University College London, Imperial College, London School of Economics and the English Speaking Union.

Using the formal British Parliamentary style of debating, these competitions give students the opportunity to hone a formidable ability to build a logical and persuasive case, think critically on their feet, dissect and rebut the arguments of others, persuade others with the force of their analysis, and speak confidently in public.

For most debates, they have just 15 minutes to prepare their arguments without access to the internet (a rarity for modern teenagers!) so debating also pushes them to develop an impressive knowledge and understanding of current affairs.

Those new to debating are given plenty of advice to build their confidence, including trips to Oxford and Cambridge debating workshops and in-school coaching sessions run by university debating judges.