St Clement Danes Triumph in Watford MP's Debating Competition!

SCD students surpassed themselves last week by winning the Watford Inter-School Debating Cup 2019! The annual competition is organised by Member of Parliament for Watford and Minister for Business and Industry, Richard Harrington, and was held at the House of Commons on Friday 15th March 2019.

Six other local secondary schools battled it out against SCD students for the 8th year of the cup, with students from years 10 to 13 taking part from Watford Grammar School for Boys, Parmiter’s, Watford Grammar School for Girls, Kings Langley, St Michael’s Catholic High School and Queens’ School. Topics debated included Brexit, climate change, faith schools and the Green Belt.

Mr Harrington, alongside Oliver Dowden, MP for Hertsmere, and Lord Maurice hosted the competition. Judges assessed debating and presentation style, as well as the quality and clarity of arguments made. Students had to impress a panel of respected judges, including Lord Finkelstein of The Times, Lord Mendelsohn, Linda McIntyre from Watford Workshop, and Herts County Councillor Frances Button.

In the final, St Clement Danes and Queens’ debated the motion ‘This House believes that UK citizens that joined ISIS should have their citizenship revoked’, with St Clement Danes' students Yasmin and Sophia arguing against the proposition and Queens' arguing in favour. Our team went on to clinch victory in the closely fought debate, winning the title of Watford Debating Champions, a trophy and £100 of Amazon vouchers. The team will also be invited to meet the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow MP. 

Speaking about the event, Richard Harrington MP said:

“I was delighted to crown students from St Clement Danes as this year’s debating champions. It’s fierce competition every year, so really well done to all the speakers!

I’d like to thank all the schools for taking part, as well as our illustrious panel of judges and co-chairs.

I started organising the Watford Debating Competition because I think it’s so important to engage young people in politics. A debating competition is great way to do that, whilst also helping students to gain public speaking experience.”

In the initial round of the competition, Year 12 students, Martin and James, supported the motion 'This house believes that the dangerous dogs act should not be breed specific' against Watford Girls. In the semi finals of the competition, students Charley  and Ollie were in opposition to the motion 'This house believes that the UK should leave the EU without a deal' against Watford Girls.

English teacher Mr Hiorns praised the team on their success and thanked Charley for her assistance in organising the team. Referring to the final, Mr Hiorns stated, 'Both students were very impressive in working as a team and in how they responded to questions from the floor. The students kept focus on their argument really well and 'won the room' with their approach.' 

Well done to the SCD team - a fantastic and most impressive result!






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