As a school, we are working on becoming confident communicators and as part of that, these two year groups have been learning how to debate in the British Parliamentary style during their lessons. We believe that clear and concise communication comes in written and verbal form, thus working on our oracy skills is imperative. Debating is at the heart of this and teaches the pupils integral listening and speaking skills as well as how to form a cohesive argument and speech.
Year 5 & 6 have been taking part in training workshops by Noisy Classroom, who specialise in debating, public speaking, interview-training, storytelling and drama-based oracy and they will continue to put their newly learned skills to good use through a range of debating opportunities both in and out of school!
Such an opportunity arose earlier this term when we entered a Bellevue inter-school debating competition. After a rigorous selection process, Alfie, Angus, Charlie, Isla and Zach were selected to represent WPS. They went to The Oratory Prep School in Oxfordshire to compete against nine other schools from across the Bellevue group in a Year 5 and 6 debating competition.
Should we be spending a lot more time and money on space travel? Should all zoos be banned?
These were some of the topics covered and our team won both of their rounds! Unfortunately, as it often is with debating, it came down to points scored within each round and we did not quite score highly enough to make the final. Nevertheless, the children did a brilliant job of holding the floor and arguing effectively. The biggest challenge they faced was preparing a speech in fifteen minutes and delivering it coherently to the judges, chairperson, opposing team and audience, and WPS rose to that wonderfully.
We are really looking forward to the Junior Debating Championships next year when we hope to have all Bellevue Schools competing.