In one of the highlights of the Spring calendar for the Sixth Form, 31 students travelled to City of London School, by the Millennium Bridge on the side of the Thames, to participate in the school’s annual Model United Nations conference as delegates for the countries of USA, DPRK, Italy, Yemen, Cote d’Ivoire, Peru, Indonesia and Rwanda. The conference had six committees, discussing world issues relating to disarmament and international security, politics, human rights, environment, economic and social policy, and the Security Council’s focus was on the question of the civil war in Yemen. Each committee had as its main objective the passing of a resolution to tackle the issues in question, which would be agreed by the majority of countries.
In the opening ceremony, all delegates (approximately 120 students) received a warm welcome and a brief lecture on the history and importance of the United Nations by Associate Professor in International Relations and European Politics at LSE, Dr Spyros Economides.
The Kingsbury students won prizes and honourable mentions in the closing ceremony, with Akira Allman (Year 13) winning a best delegate award in the Human Rights Committee. During the day, Kingsbury students made a significant impact at the conference:
*Students with clauses passed by their committees included Haider Nazerali (Year 13, Security Council), Parth Kataria (Year 13, EcoSoc), Abeena Devanand (Year 12, Environment), Sahas Warna (Year 12, Disarmament and International Security), Avnish Patel (Year 12, Human Rights, voted “best clause submitted in committee”), and Zara Ahmed (Year 12, Disarmament and International Security).
*Students who were frequently on their feet, asking questions and speaking for and against clauses, included Akira Allman, Zainab Jalali (Year 12) and Siham Sahal (Year 12) in the Human Rights Committee; Ben Sparke (Year 12) in the Disarmament and International Security Committee; Nauman Zahid (Year 13), Greta Nuzi (Year 12) and Don Jayasekera (Year 12) in the Politics Committee; and Abeena Devanand and Hassan Naima (Year 12) in the Environment Committee.
*Most impressive speeches included a first, in my experience of MUN: Aaron Stevens (Year 13) and Nauman Zahid (Year13), in the Politics Committee, both returned to their seats to spontaneous applause, having respectively made funny and intelligent remarks about space law.
Overall, this was a fantastic event in which Kingsbury students made a significant contribution and shone in very good company, competing against teams from schools including Tiffin Girls’ School, Lady Eleanor Holles, Latymer Upper School, City of London Freemen’s School, James Allen’s Girls School, King’s College School (Wimbledon), St Benedict’s School, Woldingham School and Queen’s College, London.
Photos by Parth Kataria
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.
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.
Our new Head Boy and Head Girl team, Haider Nazerali and Sara Dehvari, who are both very experienced and successful debaters, hosted Kingsbury’s first ever Lower School Debating Competition. This new competition for KHS gives our younger students an introduction to the various debating events that will take place once they are in Upper School and Sixth Form. The competition built on a highly successful Debating Workshop delivered by the English Speaking Union.
The competition involved 8 teams consisting of Year 7, 8 and 9 students debating their ways through two rounds, ably supported by the fantastic KHS Upper School Debating Society members, who judged each round. Danial Bakhtiari (7K) and Dylan Patel (7G) won individual prizes, whilst the winning team in a closely fought final in K Hall consisted of Xane Miles (8G), Jawad Bokhari (9R), Andrei Crenganis (9Y) and Kailan Gadher (9Y). Winners and Runners-Up received certificates.
Thank you to Ms Dusmez and Mr MacKay for running the Lower School Debating Society in Ms Assaad’s absence, and for Ms Tumber for working on debating skills with her Year 9 HPQ students. These efforts ensure that we have debating and public speaking skills being developed across every year group of the school and a clear ladder for students to progress in debating during their journey through the school and into the Sixth Form.
On Saturday, a group of our Year 11 and Sixth Form students made it through to the National Finals Day of the Cambridge Schools Debating Competition. Students took part in four rounds of fiercely competitive debating, against schools such as Eton and Westminster. They had just 15 minutes to prepare for motions on religious influences on politics, the use of entrapment by police, the genetic enhancement of embryos and economic growth versus economic equality. Although we didn’t make it through to the grand final, it was a fantastic day for our students, with Hadi Hijazi and Brenda Muhiddin scoring a second place in two of their debates, and Sara Dehvari and Enilla Ansari taking first place in two of their debates.
We are incredibly proud of our students, seeing them achieve remarkable success over some very tough competition. They have worked very hard this year, organising debates every Wednesday lunch time, and encouraging our younger students to get involved in debating. They have shown a huge amount of dedication and enthusiasm to the Debating Society, despite the busy exam period.
This month we are also taking part in the Kings College London Debating competition, UCL Schools Debating competition, and Imperial Schools Debating competition.
Thank you to every member of staff who contributed to our debating events this year: the students really appreciate your support.
Ms Tumber and Mr Mitchell