In the Debating calendar, the summer term is traditionally quiet – but not so at South Hampstead.
Since half term, our debaters and speakers have been busy with a whole host of our own events. Our termly Debating Friendly involved 90 debaters, plus student assistant judges, from twelve schools. After three exciting rounds debating the necessity of athletes’ engagement with the media, stand-your-ground laws, and journalistic integrity, the undefeated winners in the Junior Stream came from Henrietta Barnett School and St. Paul’s Girls’, with South Hampstead’s Manon (Year 11), Sophia (Year 8) and Eloise (Year 7) crowned winners in the Senior Stream.
As part of our ‘summer of joy’ programme, it was wonderful to be able to welcome an audience of parents to watch a thrilling Debating & Public Speaking Showcase. We were treated to two debates and three speeches by students across every year group of the Senior School, with topics ranging from the rise of cancel culture to the problems with superheroes. The students gave spirited performances and responded impressively to the audience’s questions.
For our less regular debaters, there have been plenty of opportunities to develop skills this term. During Activities Week, Year 7 participated in a Speak Up, Speak Out Day – well done to Eloise and PJ, the winners of the grand final! Beyond this, Year 11 and Sixth Formers were treated to a series of staff balloon debates, before taking part themselves, arguing over hotly contested categories such as the best films ever made and the best musical group.
We ended the term with the GDST Seniors, one of our all-day, weekend debating competitions set up in collaboration with Putney High. Sister school pupils from across the UK – from Cardiff to Sheffield, and Portsmouth to Bath – reached the Novice, Silver and Gold category finals. Congratulations to South Hampstead’s Olivia (Year 9) and Sophia (Year 8) who triumphed in the Gold Final.
Well done to every student who has participated in another very busy year of debating and public speaking! We look forward to seeing what you will achieve in the autumn term.