Epsom Team Take on Debating Competition Entirely in French | Epsom College
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Epsom Team Take on Debating Competition Entirely in French

Debating is a difficult skill at the best of times, but what if you had to form arguments entirely in a second language? Read about how four of our Lower Sixth did just that this week.

Debating the recent proposal to make Mathematics compulsory at A-level, the corruption within the art industry, or the consequences of disarming the French police would be a difficult task in any language. However, four members of the Lower Sixth decided to take that challenge one step further by arguing these issues entirely in French. 

Anna Gillespie, Emma Wright, Ella Finegan and Nicholas Cavaliere, accompanied by Miss Allen, travelled to Whitgift School to take part in the Central and South London French Debating Competition. 

Two teams of Epsom pupils competed against groups from six other schools and were put through their paces during a series of debates, unaware whether they would be speaking for or against the motion until the moment they faced their opponents.  

Teams were awarded points based on the conviction of their arguments, teamwork skills and quality of language, and it was clear that all judges were impressed by the students’ enthusiasm, resilience, and the support they demonstrated towards their fellow competitors. 

To our delight, Anna and Emma secured a place in the final, for which they were tasked to argue for the use of Nuclear Energy, and were given a mere five minutes to prepare their arguments. 

Despite narrowly missing out on winning the competition, the girls were outstanding in their clarity of speech, composure and the strong arguments they provided, and were commended for their exceptional partnership throughout the contest. Well done to all four competitors who gained some invaluable skills and experience and were an excellent example to the College.   

With thanks to Mr Baker, Head of French, for organising our involvement and our counterparts at Whitgift for hosting the event. The team was inspired by the evening and our pupils are eager to compete for the title again next year.