Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Debate Day Review

The whole school Debate Day was a fantastic success. I expected a few students to become shy and deliver very short speeches or to not help their team, but every single student participated and put in loads of effort! I have even had students asking if we can do it every week! It was supposed to be an annual thing, but I think it will not happen once a term!

Before lunch all eight teams took part in two debates each. They knew the motions in advance, but not what side they were on, who who they were against. Team captains had been sending their teams emails with news articles, YouTube videos and even ideas for team names and uniform!

Students met in the Hub in the morning where we watched the following video. We also watch a video showing the speaking order/rules, which the Debate Club created.

The first two motions:

"This house believes in one universal language."

As an international school it was very interesting to hear students debate this! One team even decided to deliver their speeches in different languages!

"This house would reintroduce national service."

This was great and some students even interviewed our security guard who did national service in Israel

After lunch only four teams made it through to the semi-final. In the morning only two teams won both debates, so I met all the judges to decided on the other two teams to go through. We looked at style, content, teamwork, manners and debate skill-it was a very tough decision as the teams were brilliant!

The semi final: "This house would replace teachers with computers."
This was my favourite debate, because they brought so much humour into it! I loved how they buttered up the judges, (teachers) and by this point the students were very confident. I thought this debate would be a little silly, so didn't chose it for the final, but regret this decision! Next term I will put a fun motion for the final!

The final took place in the hub, with all students watching, as well as board members, all teachers and parents.

The final motion was "This house would introduce a universal health care system."
They had some amazing research - even though they only had 25 minutes to prepare. Both teams were incredible, but the proposition blew everyone away, becoming Debate Champions! This was also the first debate where we allowed floor speeches -we had some incredible ones from staff, parents and students!

The winners, appropriately named 'The Best Team', received a pizza party with me after-school on Monday - we really stuffed our faces - it was brilliant!

This was a fantastic day, and showed our students working beautiful together. Teams were made of a mix of grade groups, mother tongue languages, abilities and with members of non-members of the debate club. I was also very pleased to see the captains looking after their teams!

If anyone would like the resources I shared to make this happen/shared with our teachers, (rules, tips, times, etc), then please email me or tweet me! and @missedutton