Five teams of Godolphin debaters took part in the Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition on Tuesday last week. Our speakers tackled the tough motions ‘This house would permanently remove the ability of soldiers to experience fear’ and ‘This house prefers a world where the research, writing and teaching of history focuses on studying the lives of ordinary individuals as opposed to that of important leaders of society’, showing impressive poise and presence of mind against strong competition from Eton and Harrow.
On the Friday, four Sixth Form debaters enjoyed a friendly fixture against St Mary’s, Calne. The motion was ‘This house would abolish boarding schools’ with Godolphin opposing and St Mary’s proposing, resulting in some passionate speeches on both sides.
On Tuesday this week, Year 9, 10 and 11 students from Godolphin scored an impressive victory in the first round of the English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition. This is a competition in which Godolphin has always performed very well, having been national champions in the past, so we were delighted that it is continuing online.
We entered two teams, students taking roles as either Chair, Speaker or Questioner. Chiara in Year 11, who is planning a career in medicine, argued for making vaccines compulsory, while Isabel in Year 9 made the case for abolishing public exams. Our winning team of Chiara, Sama and Antara now proceed to the London final later this term, just one step away from the national final.
Godolphin Head of English and Debating Julian Bell said, ‘It was inspiring to see Godolphin students performing in their roles with such confidence, ability and panache. The skills they have learnt through this activity will stay with them for the rest of their lives’. Godolphin student Chiara said, ‘I was completely new to public speaking. Although it was a challenge, taking part gave me so much confidence!’