On Saturday 5th May, four St Dunstan's students from years 9 and 10 (Sophia Atkinson 9F, Celeste Cardew 9G, Ishbel Fountain 10F and Rebecca Ireland 9G) travelled to Oxford to participate in the International Competition for Young Debaters Finals Day.
The competition was held in the Oxford Union building so our students were surrounded by pictures of prominent debaters who had been on the committee of the Oxford Union including William Gladstone, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove (pictured wearing a kilt) and even Malcolm X. Neither this, nor the fact that they were competing against about 40 schools from Canada, Italy, Ireland and Greece as well as across the UK, discouraged the St Dunstan's teams. They spoke confidently on topics such as 'This house would ban gambling' and 'This house would punish parents for their children's acts of bullying', after only 15 minutes of preparation.
Mrs Cohen comments: ‘Neither of our teams made the final debate, but all four participants felt that they had improved significantly from the experience. Celeste and Rebecca won their final debate with some persuasive counter-arguments and a masterly summary. Everyone left Oxford tired after a long day, but determined to come back and try again next year.’