16 March 2016

French National Debating Competition

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As part of ‘La semaine de la francophonie’, this year’s French national debating competition for schools took place in the French Institute in South Kensington. Sevenoaks School has won this competition for the last three years.

Nine teams in total were competing, representing different regions in Britain: All Saints (York), Perse Upper, Cheadle Hulme High School, University College School, Wyckham Abbey, Lady Eleanor Holles and Old Palace Croydon.

Maks Szwajewski and Tancredi Castellano came second and Anastasia Spiridonova and Alex Evtushenko came fifth. University College School came first. Our pupils were slightly disappointed, in particular Maks and Tancredi, as we all felt that they had done extremely well. Anastasia and Alex are determined to compete again next year and improve their performance!

Our pupils were very well prepared; they expressed themselves with great ease, flair, maturity and humour and some teachers from other schools were very impressed. They thought our pupils were ‘remarquables’ and ‘fabuleux’.

The three motions were: Il faudrait réformer l’orthographe française en la simplifiant au maximum. L’union Européenne devrait interdire l’importation d’huile de palme. Le gouvernement français a eu raison de recourir à l’état d’urgence.

The unprepared motion for the final debate was: La Grande-Bretagne devrait quitter l’Union Européenne.

I would also like to thank for Raphael and Romane, our French assistants, for their tremendous help before but also during the competition. It was very much appreciated by our pupils.

Nathalie Fayaud

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