In the ‘Debating Society’, we aim to develop the confidence to speak in public, to listen and to respond to the ideas of others. This, we believe, is an essential skill/tool in the future of our pupils who are facing an ever-increasing diversity of opinion about key issues. We hope to enable our pupils to see ‘the big picture’ and develop their reasoning powers based upon hearing all points of view.
This year, we hope to establish links with other schools through our blog site and shared sessions.
The debates are always moderated carefully and clear expectations about ‘how’ we debate are established in each session:
- the topic is raised during the Monday assembly session;
- the debaters are granted an ‘early lunch’ but are required to stay for the whole session once the introduction is presented;
- an initial ‘vote’ on the motion is taken;
- we raise our hand if we wish to speak;
- the speaker invites a response from the raised hands;
- the teacher/leader intervenes only when necessary or when a point needs making;
- we NEVER use offensive language or express views that may offend others;
- we consider our initial votes at the end of the session;
- the teacher/leader may address issues raised in line with our mission statement and learning values.