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Milepost Three Debate Competition

08 April 2016

As Nelson Mandela once said, “Don't raise your voice, improve your argument.”

The students in Milepost Three would agree with this after preparing, practicing and perfecting their debates for this year’s MP3 Debate Competition where they shared, listened to and debated some controversial ideas in front of a packed theatre.

In the weeks before the competition a lot of work had taken place to introduce debating to the Milepost as most children had never debated before. Classes first held debates within their class, then against other classes in the year group. It was great to see so many students involved in the process and it was a pleasure to experience the competitive but friendly atmosphere during the inter-class debates.

The Year 5 teams considered the motion ‘This house believes that tourism causes more harm than good.’ The proposition team was made up of Zara (5I), Anna (5V), Brooke (5N) and Elizabeth (5S). Chan Yun, Ainsley, Khanh and Phuc from 5B were the opposition team. Both teams demonstrated excellent research skills and used this to help them produce compelling arguments. This debate was chaired by the clear and confident Nicholas (5N) with Luxe (6I) acting as a reliable timekeeper.

The Year 6 teams debated the motion ‘This house believes that the production of palm oil should be limited.’ This was a difficult motion but the teams did an excellent job of researching the topic and coming up with convincing arguments on both sides. The speakers on the proposition team were from 6N (Olivia, Mia, Hope and Aarush) and the opposition were from 6I (Halima, Oliver, Nitika and Sidhant). Their debate was superbly chaired by Sarah (6V).

The judging panel consisted of representatives from different BIS campuses; Lucy Croft (AP2 Head of English), Rosy Clark (BVIS Primary Head Teacher) and Steve Jennins (Learning Support Leader TX). All were incredibly impressed with the standard of debating that the teams demonstrated and found it very difficult to make a final decision.

While the judges were making their decisions, we were treated to performances from some of the top musicians in the milepost. Arial (5N), Chae Rim (5S), Anya (5I), Sarah (6V), Man Nghi (6B) and Kinga (6N) really showcased the incredible musical talent in our school and it was a pleasure to listen to.  Thanks go to Miss Lettie for her support and accompaniment on the piano.

Finally, the judges returned from their deliberations and awarded the Year 5 debate and the Year 6 debate to the opposition teams. They felt that the winning teams had produced a range of convincing arguments to back up their points, handled the ‘cross-fire’ question round well both asking and answering questions capably, and spoken clearly and passionately about their topic. The standard of debating was quite amazing and reflected the phenomenal progress made in what is just a three week unit of work.

The competition was a complete success which reflects the energy, enthusiasm and efforts put in by all involved. We would like to thank everyone for their positive approach to this event and for their help in making the 2016 Debate Competition such a success.

Mr Stu Reddrop & Mr Guy Dormer | Year 5 Teachers