News A busy week for Godolphin debaters 28.01.2021

Year 7 and Year 8 students debated online against students at Oak House School in Barcelona, Spain on Monday 25 January. Year 7s opposed the banning of competitive sports, while Year 8s proposed limiting everyone to one international flight a year. Godolphin’s Head of English and Debating Julian Bell said, ‘This event is a very welcome addition to our already extensive international online debating portfolio. We are planning to hold debates with Oak House once a fortnight, so there will be many more opportunities for Year 7 and Year 8 students. Godolphin will also be hosting an online competition for students in Years 9-11 during February and March, with an international element. Debating online is opening up a whole new world for our students!’ Year 7 student Aitana said, ‘I really enjoyed participating in the debate and I also relished the fact that I was able to meet an international team.’

Also on Monday, a Year 10 debating team competed in the first round of the ESU Mace debating competition, accompanied by Mr Bishop. They faced Coombe Girls’ School on the motion ‘This House believes that government economic policy should prioritise the collective happiness and well-being of the population over economic growth’, with Godolphin making the case for the opposition.

It was a very strong debate, with both teams displaying an admirable range of argumentative techniques and rhetorical devices. Sophia, Sanaya and Imogen all showed that they had done their research and worked hard as a team to structure their case. They also made a number of excellent points of information, challenging the other team on the claims that they were making, as well as working under pressure to rebut the proposition’s arguments in their speeches.

The Godolphin team’s efforts paid off as they were selected out of several teams taking part over the evening to proceed to the next round, a feat made all the more impressive for the fact that almost all the other students taking part were older than them, mostly Sixth Formers! Year 10 student Sophia said, ‘It was a very fun evening filled with fierce competition and we’re all thoroughly looking forward to the next round!’.

And we had further reason to celebrate as Georgina, Devshi, Rojin and Anais in the Lower Sixth emerged victorious in an online debate against Sacred Heart on Wednesday evening. The Godolphin debaters presented a compelling opposition to the motion “This house would make the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory for all” and are in a strong position for their forthcoming fixtures which include Old Palace of John Whitgift, St Mary’s, Calne and both the Oxford and Cambridge Schools’ Debating Competitions.