Cambridge Debating Success…

A significant achievement by four Sixth Formers, who competed in the Cambridge Schools’ Debating competition. Gayatri, Neha, Ria and Samara, came first or second in four of the eight debates and all four were in the top 50 speakers out of 100. A special mention to Gayatri, who came 32nd out of 100 competitors.

In her own words, Gayatri explains…

The Cambridge Schools Debating Competition took place over a whole day and both teams took part in four debates over the course of the day. The four motions included ‘This house would not grant employers access to applicants’ criminal records’, ‘This house would pay spouses that stay at home a salary’ and ‘This house believes that sports teams should be owned by their fans’. The competition ended with a more light-hearted debate motion of ‘This house would become a superhero if given the opportunity’.

We were told these motions and the positions we had to adopt on the day, and received a mere 15 minutes of preparation time in which we could not use the internet or other sources for help. We then presented our speeches in the debate. After each debate we were given personal feedback from the student judges about the content and delivery of our speeches and how successful we were in carrying out our role in the debate.

We prepared in the weeks prior to the competition with Mr Johnston, by practising speaking on a range of debating motions. These helped us to understand the format of the competition and what the role of each speaker was. We were also lucky enough to receive advice from students who have participated in other competitions. This made us feel prepared going into the competition. It was definitely nerve racking at first however, as the day progressed our confidence really improved. We learned many skills from the experience such as critical thinking, thinking on our feet and public speaking. The feedback we received helped us to understand how to improve our speaking ability and to structure our speeches in the short amount of time given. Overall, it was a really worthwhile experience and we learned a lot and worked well as teams; it also gave us the opportunity to learn from other talented speakers from other schools.

I really enjoyed all the debates and the experience as a whole has really increased my confidence. Learning that I came 32nd overall was a really nice surprise.