Harry Potter Debating Competition

On a cold Sunday, Year 13 student and Head Boy, Haider Nazerali, hosted a suitably magical day of debating in K Hall and surrounding classrooms as a fundraising event for the educational charity, Debate Mate. The event attracted teams from far and wide, with two schools travelling from Suffolk to participate, and ran from 9.30am until 7.30pm.
Assisted by members of the Upper School Debating Society and Haider’s contacts from the English Speaking Union and Debate Mate, he organised four rounds of Harry Potter-themed debating (on aspects of the rules of quidditch, the responsibilities of wizardry, the rights of centaurs, and the powers of spells), plus a pizza dinner and an enthusiastically argued and highly entertaining final. House points were awarded (as per the Houses of Hogwarts) and certificates presented to the winning team and to the finalists. Kingsbury fielded four teams in the competition and whilst they did not reach the final, they debated with distinction and a good time was had by all. At the end of the event, Haider was able to announce that the event had succeeded in raising over £300 for Debate Mate. Full credit should go to Haider for a fantastic achievement, which he thoroughly enjoyed and which gave a very positive impression of the school to those who visited on the day.

Urban Debate League 2015

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Kingsbury hosted the first round of the national Urban Debate League on Thursday 22nd January 2015, as part of the school’s link with Debate Mate. With five outside schools participating in two rounds of debate involving over 100 students, it was a really successful evening, and Kingsbury High School students showed themselves and Kingsbury in the best of lights.

The form was fantastic, with enthusiastic and skilled speakers from visiting schools Hertswood Academy; Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College; St Gregory’s School; The Bushey Academy and Greenford High School. Our four Kingsbury teams did very well, winning a number of debates, and members of Debate Club on the floor made fantastic points too.

Results will be published, along with Kingsbury’s ranking, once all the first rounds have been completed. You can find these soon on the Debate Mate website. The second round of the Urban Debate League will be in the spring term: we hope the standard will be just as high next time!

Artemis Urban Debate League 2014

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On Thursday 30th January 2014, Kingsbury High School hosted one of the first rounds of the Artemis Urban Debate League. Part of Debate Mate, the Artemis Urban Debate League is a cumulative tournament which takes place over three rounds across the country, and concludes with a finals-day competition for the top eight schools in the league.

Up to 100 students from Kingsbury High School, Capital City Academy, Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College, Preston Manor and Alperton High School attended the event. The students engaged in debates on challenging topics from the legality of spying to the viability of the death penalty.

Kingsbury High School will go on to compete in the next round which is due to take place in March.

Aim Higher Alumni Workshop

On Tuesday 25th September 2012, Kingsbury High School (KHS) hosted an Aim Higher Workshop for Year 12 students which was presented by 34 former students and two staff members of the school. KHS alumni, from 2001 to the present, spoke of their experiences at universities including Cambridge, Imperial College, London (King’s, LSE and Queen Mary), Durham, Warwick, Keele and York. Presenting a wide spectrum of careers, we heard from employees of Ernst & Young, the BBC, Sony and Nomura Bank; learned about internships at Microsoft and the Bank of England; and received some business wisdom from two entrepreneurs. There were also presentations on gap year and study activities abroad, together with a focus on extracurricular opportunities from representatives of Debate Mate and Pure Potential, two social enterprises dedicated to helping state school students to develop new skills and reach their work and study aspirations.

We were also very fortunate to welcome back students who have bright futures in the performing arts. Hard-working recording artist, V.A.S, delighted the audience with a short lively set, showcasing recent releases (his video for the track ‘Space Invader’ can now be found online), and singer/songwriter Sheena Evans performed two songs, including one written only the day before the event, revealing the range and power of her fantastic voice. To top this line-up, the school’s Creative & Performance Manager, Erik Windrich played a track that had achieved great success in South Africa and showed how it had subsequently been used in films and television advertisements.

The event attracted a great deal of positive feedback from Year 12 students, who were keen to meet and speak to the alumni after each session. The organiser of the event, Mr Mitchell, was very pleased with the workshop: “I am so grateful for the support and goodwill I have received from our alumni in making this event special for the Year 12 students. The aim of the event was to encourage and inspire our students to aim higher and having the former students there sent a clear message: you can ‘make it’ to your chosen career or university if you work hard enough and show sufficient interest and determination.”

[Text by Mr Mitchell; Photography by Steve]

2012 Deutsche Bank Debate Mate

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On Friday the 23rd of March, six Kingsbury High School students attended the 2012 Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup Competition at London School of Economics. The students were selected by Law undergraduate mentors’ of Kings College University, London.

The Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup is a competition run by a charity organisation known as Debate Mate. Every week mentors come along to train and gear Kingsbury High School students to develop their oracy skills so that they can take part in national competitions such as the Deutsche Bank Debate Mate Cup and the Urban Debate League. The competitions involve nearly a hundred schools who are encouraged to challenge each other in debates.

Kingsbury High School students worked extremely hard to prepare for the event, which involved three debate rounds. Out of the three rounds, students were provided with one pre-released motion and the other two were revealed 15 minutes prior to the debate. Students were up against a new team from a different school in each round.

The motions were challenging with statements such as: ‘This House believes that the UK should intervene militarily in Syria’. Within a short period of time and intense pressure the Key Stage 3 Debate Club team were able to come out successfully from 2 of the 3 debates. They all worked very hard to gain support for their point of view and to engage their peers in serious discussions about issues that affect us all.

At the end of the day and after many live performances, students left with precious advice from judges who professionally take part in debating competitions from all around the world.

[text provided by Ms Salmah; image provided by Ben McNelly, Programme Director, Debate Mate]

Artemis Urban Debate League 2012

Kingsbury High School is ranked first place, out of 107 schools, in the final league tables of the Artemis Urban Debate League 2012. This was a competition that took place between schools all over the nation. Kingsbury High School was able to succeed in gaining the highest score and maintain it after two hotly contested rounds.

For each round, students had to prepare for a pre-released motion and on the day, two debate rounds took place. Out of the two, one of the motions was pre-released and the second debate would be a blind one. Students performed brilliantly, throwing their powerful thoughts out to the audience with conviction and force. The judges placed both teams which were representing Kingsbury High School Debate Club at the top.

Students now have one more round to take part in and are currently in training for the grand final which will take place at the House of Lords. The students are very excited about the prospect of performing at such a prestigious venue.

[information provided by Ms Salmah]