Parliamentary Debating Competition

On Friday 21st October St Clement Danes School took a team to a Debating Competition at the Houses of Parliament. The competition was held in the debating rooms off Westminster Hall where official Parliamentary debates also take place, thus giving us a sense of grandeur but obviously adding to the nerves. The competition was being hosted by Dean Russell MP and Gagan Mohindra MP, both MPs for Watford/South West Hertfordshire constituencies and so we were up against 7 other schools from the area including Parmiter’s, Merchant Taylor’s, Stanborough Park Secondary School and Future Academies Watford.

Our Quarter final match was against Croxley Danes School and we were taking the Opposition position to ‘This House believes that all members of the House of Lords should be cross-party’. The debate was close but our first team of Amelie Ma, Anya A, Anya M-W and Joe prevailed. The Semi-final match was up against Ashlyns, with us again taking the Opposition position to ‘This House would remove whole life orders’. Again, the debate was very close but our second team of Archie, Lucy, Amelie Me and George clinched the victory with clarity of argument and solid, precise evidence.

Having made it to the Final, we found ourselves drawn against Watford Girls School. There was a frantic 15 minutes pulling the final team together and ensuring the arguments were secure. This time we were taking the Government position on ‘This House believes that men’s and women’s sports should have equal airtime.’ Our team of Amelie Me, Archie, Anya M and Joe were superb. Their unscripted, evidenced, clear arguments and their timely interjections were fully appreciated by the 6 judges, who included a prominent member of the House of Lords, Lord Gadhia, and St Clement Danes School won the Final.

A special mention and thank you should go to the Year 12s who unsuccessfully tried out for the team but added so much to our preparation in advance. Likewise, the four members of our 12 person team, Max, Hunter, Edward and Nicole, who played a significant role in analysing the debates and feeding evidence and comments to our speakers. Every member of the team played a crucial role in our win. However, I think everyone would agree that our ‘Man of the Match’ was our ‘finisher’ Joe Hamilton who eloquently completed our arguments in both the Quarter final and Final and got the tone of the debates just right. Congratulations to one and all!


Category / All Articles