A small group of KHS students travelled to the Institute of Education to compete in the UCL Schools’ Debating Cup, a fiercely contested event with teams from some of the best debating schools in the country (such as Dulwich College, Eton and St Paul’s Girls). Kingsbury High School was represented in the competition by Aaron Stevens and Arran Jabbari, two Debating Society regulars but external competition “novices”, with support on the sidelines from Nikita Shikotra and Nauman Zahid; and Kingsbury’s Head Boy, Haider Nazerali, competed for the Debate Mate organisation with a partner from another school. They all enjoyed the competition and the motions were challenging but also very interesting.
It became clear, as the competition progressed, that Haider’s team was heading for the finals and we all stayed to watch his brilliant performance in the semi-final (on requiring games manufacturers to promote female protagonists), followed by his characteristically strong contribution to an exceptionally hard-fought final on a motion proposing the selling of citizenships. In the end Haider shared joint first prize with his Debate Mate partner as Best Speaker on the Day (highest scoring across all debates) and was a Runner-Up in the Final, with the Debate Mate team narrowly losing to Dulwich College.
Haider is next representing Kingsbury High School in the National Finals of the Cambridge Union Schools Debating Competition, in which he will be partnered by Head Girl, Sara Dehvari. The school will also be represented in these finals by Salem Ali and Akira Allman, who have performed superbly in Wednesday lunch-time debates over the course of the year.
The school recently hosted the Second Round of the English Speaking Union’s Mace Debating Competition in K Hall, playing host to, and competing against, Harrow School, Immanuel College, Merchant Taylors’, St Helen’s and Whitmore High School for a place in the West London Finals.
It was a closely fought contest, with all teams contributing to an evening of high quality and enjoyable debating on motions relating to charitable symbols, manipulated images in the media and religious symbols in the workplace. Kingsbury’s team – Siham Sahal (Year 12) and Nauman Zahid (Year 13) – were a credit to the school and debated with distinction.
At the end of the evening St Helen’s deservedly took first place but our students should be proud of their performance against some very strong teams. Kingsbury debaters will be back in action later in the month for the Oxford Union Schools Competition on 21st February at Finchley Catholic High School and on 24th February for the UCL Debating Cup. They will also be travelling to Cambridge on Saturday 3rd March for National Finals Day of the Cambridge Union Schools Competition.
Kingsbury High School debaters celebrated a double victory when two teams (four students) were chosen, after four closely contested rounds of debating, to represent the school in the national debating finals of the Cambridge Union Schools Debating competition.
The students triumphed in the regional round, held at Immanuel College, Bushey, and were successful against opposing schools including Immanuel, Merchant Taylors’, Habs Boys, QE Girls and Watford Grammar.
The finalists are, Sara Dehvari/Haider Nazerali (Head Girl/Head Boy) and Salem Ali/Akira Allman
Other students who represented the school with distinction were Nicole Khabra, Siham Sahal and Muriel Gilbertson in Year 12 and Nauman Zahid in Year 13.
Many congratulations to Nauman Zahid (Year 13) and Siham Sahal (Year 12), prominent members of the Upper School Debating Society, for securing a place in the second round of the English Speaking Union (ESU) Mace competition with an excellent debating performance opposing the introduction of e-sports to the Olympic Games. Kingsbury went through this tough first round along with Queen Elizabeth School, Barnet, and Immanuel College, Bushey. The debates were judged by Alice Dendy, of the ESU; and George Burns, a Sixth Form manager at neighbouring Claremont High School.
We are also grateful to, and commend, Haider Nazerali and Sara Dehvari (both Year 13) for competing as a “swing team” to ensure that the three scheduled debates went ahead as planned when one team was unable to attend. They strongly opposed a suggestion that students should take part in compulsory national service after Year 13.
We look forward to receiving news of the second round in due course.
Thank you to Godwin on the caretaking team; to Careen, Mary and the catering team; to Rachelle Regan and the behaviour team; to Tracey Cox; and to the members of staff and fellow students who kindly gave their time to support the competitors during the evening.