Debate at the Oxford Union

On the 27th of June 2017, the Kineton High School debate team, consisting of Noah Wild, Isaac Dewhurst, Joshua Shortman and Alex Gordon, Amelia Jones, Ethan Stevens, Paul Philpott and Thomas Penson participated in the Magdalen College School debating competition hosted at the Oxford Union. The Oxford Union is a very famous venue for speeches, and it was interesting to be debating in the same space where Terry Pratchet, JK Rowling, politicians and even rappers have spoken to Oxford University students. The day started with a welcome breakfast, then a briefing in the main chamber, informing us about the day’s timetable, and giving us a brief introduction. Soon after this the teams were off to their separate rooms to commence debating controversial issues such as: second home ownership, the election of Donald Trump, NHS privatisation and equal gender pay in sports. Debates were organised into 4 teams of 2, and points were awarded for content and fluency. Josh and Alex came 2nd twice, 1st once and 4th once. Noah and Isaac came 2nd, 1st, 4th and 4th. The 6th formers also enjoyed their day as Tom continues below.

By Alex Gordon and Joshua Shortman

For each of the sixth formers that went, it was the first debate competition that any of us had participated in. Nevertheless, we soon got into the swing of things and gave it our all. It was interesting to hear the opinions of other young people, and to discuss important issues with them. The debates were exciting as well as challenging, especially when arguing that the election of Trump was a good thing (luckily, no one's support for Trump was genuine!). Although we may not have come close to winning the competition, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable day, and we look forward to the possibility of competing in future events. Thanks to Mrs Edge for organizing the day.

By Tom Penson