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Great Debate

Throughout the lockdown, and into the return to school, debating and public speaking have continued apace.

Our Debate Hub has welcomed a growing number of partner schools in the local community and beyond. This term, our debaters have collaborated with pupils from fifteen different schools from as far afield as Scotland, with our most recent event attracting over 100 students.

So many of our debaters have enjoyed competitive success over the past term. Edie (Year 12) and Manon (Year 11) qualified for the Finals Day of Cambridge Schools, one of the highest-level competitions on the schools’ debating circuit. Edie, Manon and – particularly impressively for her age – Camille (Year 8), came joint second as individual speakers at the regional round. Charlotte (Year 11) came fifth. Overall, it was a fantastic performance from all of our debaters.

For the second year in a row, South Hampstead took all available qualification spots in our regional round of the International Competition for Young Debaters. Six of the top eight individual speakers at the event were from South Hampstead, including the top three. The girls who made it to the Finals next term were Olivia (Year 9) and Sophia (Year 8) in first place; Camille and Eleanor (Year 8) in second place; Lara (Year 9) and Molly (Year 8) in third place. We hope to keep up our winning streak in the Finals and into next year!

At Imperial Schools, Chiara (Year 8) and Millie (Year 9) won the Novice Final, despite the fact that it is a senior competition targeting students in Year 11 to 13. We were all delighted with their success. At the GDST Chrystall Carter Public Speaking Competition, Erin (Year 11) made it through to the final, winning her semi-final with a compelling speech on the topic: ‘All people should have Universal Basic Income’.

To cap a thrilling term of events, Charlotte, Manon and Olivia reached the National Final of the ESU’s Public Speaking Competition and were named London Regional Champions. To put this achievement in perspective, around 400 teams enter this competition each year and only eight make it to the National Final. Charlotte gave a brilliant speech on the importance of investing in bold technological innovation projects. The title of her speech was: ‘It’s 2020 – where are all the flying cars?’  Manon and Olivia did a superb job as questioner and chair, respectively, and the judges commended the girls on what they called a real team effort – we look forward to seeing them compete in the National Final in April.



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