On Wednesday this week, I accompanied five Year 6 pupils invited to participate in a Public Speaking and Debating Workshop at King Edward VI High School for Girls. To say that I was glowing with pride would be an understatement, our pupils shone like bright stars at the workshop while working with other local primary schools. To find out more, please read the recount below perfectly prepared by one of the pupils about the experience.
On Wednesday 5th of February, Mrs Ayub took Breshna, Jessie, Priyam, Freya and me to KEHS for a debating and public speaking workshop. A few different schools also participated in this activity with us. As well as some teachers from KEHS, there were six KEHS sixth-formers, known for doing well in debating competitions, who helped out. Thank goodness it was not a gruelling competition!
When we arrived, Mrs Ayub led us to the grand reception of the school, where we met some of the other eager looking students. After waiting for a few minutes, a teacher escorted us up an oak staircase and across a couple of corridors to a modern-looking, state of the art auditorium.
Firstly, we sat down on the chairs in our school groups. Two teachers then introduced themselves, Miss Williams and Mr Lynn, before starting a quiz about politics in History. In this quiz, we were given a piece of paper with a year or a name to do with politics and an envelope with another similar piece of paper. On the immense screen, they put up a fascinating question and if we thought that we had the answer, we held up our piece of paper.
Furthermore, they showed us the main debating question, which was ‘Should mobile phones be banned at school?’. After this, we were split into ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree’ sides (proposition and opposition) and taken to different classrooms on the opposite sides of the collosal auditorium, so that the other team could not hear our ideas. All the Blue Coat attendees were on the ‘Disagree’ side.
We entered a medium sized classroom, where three sixth-formers aided us to create some points on the vital argument before asking us if anybody would like to speak in front of everybody and produce a speech on our ideas. Volunteering straight away, I began to write – with the help of a group – my selected point, supported by a valid piece of evidence and a strong explanation. Feeling slightly nervous, I walked as confidently as I could back into the large auditorium.
Three of us from each team walked to the front and sat opposite the other team, being watched by what seemed like a million staring eyes. I was the first speaker for the ‘Disagree’ team and Miss Williams stated that I was Jeremy Corbyn! The ‘Agree’ team was led by Boris Johnson. Certainly, I can say that our team answered questions well and proposed our speeches backed up with solid facts. The 25 attendees were asked to vote for the winning team by standing beside their chosen victor. Fortunately, our team won 21:4.
Finally, we all thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic opportunity. This definitely is a day that none of us will forget for the rest of our lives! Be Seated.
Simran and the team