Earlier this week, four Lower Sixth pupils took part in a friendly debating match against Halliford School with the aim of encouraging collaboration.
The debate was organised so that there would be a pair from either school on both sides of the debate. Sam Han and Faris Jafar were the first and second speakers for the proposition, whilst Maddy Paul and Gracie Lappin were the third and fourth speakers for the opposition.
The motion was: ‘This house believes the Online Safety Bill will benefit Britain’. Pupils were given a week to prepare and, on the evening, delivered three-minute speeches with two minutes of unprotected time allowed for Points of Information. The quality of the debate was impressive and certainly encouraging ahead of the Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition, the first round of which will be held in January.
Given the excellent speeches on both sides, coming to a judgment on the debate was challenging but, ultimately, the opposition was successful as a result of their superior knowledge of the bill itself. Maddy Paul put in the best performance from Epsom; Maddy had prepared assiduously and delivered her points confidently and articulately. On the other hand, the proposition was also praised for their delivery but was deemed to have less substance behind their stylish performances.
All pupils who took part thoroughly enjoyed the experience and no doubt will have developed their debating skills for future competitions.