Steyning pupils are debating winners

Steyning Grammar School debating team SUS-141021-144116001
Steyning Grammar School debating team SUS-141021-144116001

Steyning Grammar School Year 12 debating team took part and won the South East Qualifying Round of ‘Debating Matters Competition’ held recently at Hove Park School.

The school Debating Team won both debates; Olivia Francis and William Miller won against the motion: ‘We should be willing to compromise our privacy in the interests of national and international security.’

Monet Fraser and Lucy Moon won in favour of the motion: ‘Artistic expression should never be censored.’

Steyning student Lucy Moon said: “It was a fantastic experience, I learned a lot about myself and how to debate in a civilized way. The questions were really challenging from the other team, they put up a really good debate.”

Calum White won ‘Best Contribution to Debate’ for his excellent questioning from the floor which helped considerably in fazing the opposing team.

A special mention needs to go to Calum White, Henry Hayward, Sophie Crossfield, Gina Foice and Sasha Watkins who helped prepare the debaters by reading articles, discussing debating strategies and by constructing questions.

Mr Blatch, History Teacher from Steyning Grammar School, who accompanied the students, said: “Everyone who took part, whether they spoke in a debate or came in support, did their bit.

“We are particularly proud of the comradeship and spirit shown by the whole team, who had put in a great deal of time, effort and no small amount of courage in the face of strong competition. As a team we are looking forward to the next round.”

Debating Matters is a national competition that has been running for the last 12 years and is organised by the ‘Institute of Ideas’.

The competition provides an engaging approach to debating for Sixth Form students presenting topical debates set in a challenging format.

The free-flowing but rigorous format employed has proved popular with students and schools, and the role played by the Debating Matters judges in pushing the students to develop their arguments further and to substantiate their case has been especially well received.

This year’s judges were drawn from a broad spectrum of professional backgrounds bringing different insights and expertise to the debates.

Anthony Carr from the University of Sussex, Gloria Laycock OBE from the University College London, Lucy Robinson from the University of Sussex, Len Gooblar from AbbVie UK, Adrian Hart writer and film-maker with the Chairs Joel Cohen from the Institute of Ideas and Ollie Beaney, who has been involved with the Debating Matters Alumni program for several years now.

He first took part in the competition in 2010/11 as part of the team from Steyning Grammar School, making it through to the South East Regional Final.

Despite fierce competition from Hove Park School and Bede’s Senior School, Steyning Grammar School Debating Team managed to win both of their debates and therefore take overall victory.

The whole team will now progress to the South of England Regional finals to be held at the University of Canterbury in March.

Report and picture contributed by Steyning Grammar School.