Debating at KHS

Do you like discussing controversial issues? Do you think you can develop stronger arguments than your opponents? Well now you can put your quick wit and verbal skills to the test by taking part in competitive debating. Past and present members of the Upper School Debating Society have contributed to a short video which shows how competitive debating works and explains some of the roles and strategies that lead to success. The students were filmed during a debate on a motion about allowing schools to deal with misbehaviour by carrying out physical punishments (‘corporal punishment’).

Filmed and edited by Mr Windrich, and co-ordinated by Aim Higher Manager, Mr Mitchell, the video focuses on competitive debating in the “British Parliamentary” style, taking the format adopted for the Oxford Union and Cambridge Union competitions.

There are debating clubs for students in the Upper and Lower Schools and all students are warmly encouraged to give this activity their best shot – whether around the debating table or making points from the audience (“the floor”). In competitions, students are judged on the style of their presentation, the substance and structure of what they have to say, and the observance of rules and etiquette.

As a suggested classroom technique for the Kingsbury Expectations for Effective Lessons, teachers may be interested in incorporating competitive debating – or associated activities, such as mock trials, moots and oracy projects – in their lessons when considering controversial issues, ideas or topics which attract differing points of view.

For further information about debating and public speaking at Kingsbury High School, please see Mr Mitchell or Ms Tumber in the Upper School (Sixth Form and GCSE students respectively) and Mrs Assaad in the Lower School (Foundation and Acceleration students).

(video, also found on Planet eStream, by Mr Windrich & Mr Mitchell; text by Mr Mitchell)

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