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On Monday 22nd January, as part of our weekly 'Debate Mate' club, 27 students from Years 7-10 journeyed to Hornsey School for Girls to take part in Round 1 of the Urban Debate League. For the first competition of the year we had a mixture of experienced debaters and complete beginners, so many were understandably nervous! There were six different schools competing, and we fielded three squads, including one 'Novice' squad made up entirely of debating newcomers.
After much anticipation we discovered the motion for the first debate: "This house would ban adverts targeted at children under 16 years of age." Our squads were randomly assigned to be Proposition (for the motion) or Opposition (against the motion) and sent off to prepare for just 15 minutes before facing their opponents in the debates, judged by Debate Mate mentors. Following some very impressive performances, two of our three squads won their debates!
After briefly re-grouping, we were given the motion for the second of the two debates for the afternoon: "This house would give the police total and unrestricted access to our personal data." A controversial topic, and again just 15 minutes for the squads to come up with their arguments. The competition was fierce but, once more, two out of three squads were victorious!
The afternoon was a great success and our debaters did themselves proud - including those who were not part of the squads but contributed by giving 'floor speeches' as audience members and taking on important positions in the debates, such as timekeeper. We are very much looking forward to Round 2 which is only a few weeks away!