Oxford Schools Debating Tournament | Epsom College
  • News

Oxford Schools Debating Tournament

On the evening of Wednesday 24 February, two Sixth Form teams – Theo Mully paired with Alice Jenkins, and Allegra Sheen paired with Ellie Jordan – represented the College in the regional round of the most prestigious schools’ debating tournament in the country, Oxford Schools. They competed against impressive teams from other top independent schools in the South-East region, such as Wellington College, St. Mary’s Ascot, St. Catherine’s and Berkhamstead.

Both debates challenged our speakers to grapple with complex, topical and philosophical issues. The first motion was: “This House believes that environmental advocacy groups should prioritise individual-centric actions at the expense of policy-level changes”; the second motion was: “Assuming the technology exists, this House would permanently remove the ability of soldiers to experience fear.”

Allegra and Ellie presented compelling, though-provoking speeches that impressed the judges and secured them entry to the Finals’ Day, which is the first time in recent memory that the College has made it through the regional round. While Alice and Theo were not successful on this occasion, they should also be highly commended for their articulate and passionate speeches, described by the judges as “powerful”.

“We had to prepare two five-minute speeches with only fifteen minutes preparation time, which was challenging. Personally, I found this exercise pushed me out of my comfort zone but ultimately proved to be very rewarding.” Allegra Sheen (L6)

“I thought that the competition was a great experience as the format and lack of preparation time forced me to think and react quickly while relying purely on my own knowledge. It was quite daunting at first but after the first debate I felt more comfortable and more confident while preparing for the second. I would recommend it to anyone looking to develop their debating skills or wanting to push themselves!” Ellie Jordan (L6)

“We discussed a variety of different topics, ranging from environmental altruism to genetic modification in the army. Overall, I highly enjoyed myself, and for all of us, it proved to be an educational and pleasurable experience!” Theo Mully (U6)

“The competition was tough and the motions challenging, but the overall experience was highly rewarding and fun! The second motion was our strongest and we made a strong case as closing opposition, with our allusion to Brave New World impressing the judge. Overall, the event was very well organised and provided us with a stimulating and exciting evening.” Alice Jenkins (U6)