Prov­ing their point in de­bates

Sixth-form stu­dents win place in fi­nals af­ter beat­ing six other schools

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Staff re­porter ed­i­to­ri­aluxbridge@trin­i­

UXBRIDGE Col­lege beat schools from across North Lon­don to win a place in fi­nal of the na­tional schools de­bat­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

Sixth-form stu­dents from six schools from across North Lon­don fought it out for a place at the De­bat­ing Mat­ters na­tional fi­nal to be held at the Mu­seum of Lon­don in July.

Uxbridge Col­lege im­pressed judges with their sharp ideas and broad ap­proach to the top­ics to win the com­pe­ti­tion on Thurs­day last week.

The 16 to 18 year olds took part in a se­ries of de­bates on top­ics such as repa­ra­tions for slav­ery, tax in­cen­tives to at­tract in­vest­ment, and whether we should re­new Tri­dent, as part of the UK’s tough­est de­bat­ing com­pe­ti­tion, the In­sti­tute of Ideas’ De­bat­ing Mat­ters Com­pe­ti­tion.

The con­test in­volves nearly 300 schools and 2,000 stu­dents from around the UK.

Uxbridge Col­lege stu­dent Rhema Thomas-John­son was named as Highly Com­mended In­di­vid­ual.

Pupils faced a judg­ing panel of adults from a wide range of pro­fes­sional back­grounds, in­clud­ing lo­cal busi­ness lead­ers, sci­en­tists, au­thors and aca­demics who ques­tioned them on their ar­gu­ments and chal­lenge them to de­fend their re­search and think­ing.

Jus­tine Brian, di­rec­tor of the De­bat­ing Mat­ters Com­pe­ti­tion, said: ‘The com­pe­ti­tion prides it­self on tak­ing young peo­ple se­ri­ously, valu­ing ideas and al­low­ing free de­bate. Some of the bright­est and best stu­dents are taken out of their com­fort zone by tack­ling these top­ics. The qual­ity of de­baters was again ex­cep­tion­ally high in the Lon­don North Re­gion, so con­grat­u­la­tions to Uxbridge Col­lege!

“We em­pha­sise sub­stance, not just style of de­bat­ing, and all the stu­dents have done in­cred­i­bly well to get this far.”

Pamela Dow, di­rec­tor of strat­egy at the Min­istry of Jus­tice, and De­bat­ing Mat­ters judge said of the fi­nal: “The fi­nal was a great de­bate on repa­ra­tions for slav­ery. High­gate Wood School al­most changed my mind, but Uxbridge Col­lege de­served to win. Well done to all the stu­dents who took part in De­bat­ing Mat­ters.”

Michael Gold­farb, au­thor, broad­caster and jour­nal­ist, and De­bat­ing Mat­ters judge said: “I re­ally en­joyed be­ing a De­bat­ing Mat­ters judge. The stu­dents were great and very, very tal­ented.”

The De­bat­ing Mat­ters Com­pe­ti­tion is sup­ported by the Well­come Trust. Hod­der Ed­u­ca­tion, Ox­ford Univer­sity Press, Sara­cens RUFC, Science Mu­seum, Team Sport Kart­ing, and Fin­bor­ough Theatre, do­nated prizes to the win­ning stu­dents.

Some of the bright­est and best stu­dents are taken out of their com­fort zone by

tack­ling these top­ics”

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