Debate Mate Cup

On Wednesday 24th April, seven students (Lina Abdulrazzaq, Kelcie Mason, Sasha Mensah-Barnes, Younes Chanij, Rishi Mahtani, Anwar Ukurow, and Ibrahim El Hallili) braved the third and final competition of the year: the whole-day Debate Mate Cup, hosted at London Metropolitan University. The students were faced with tough motions and tough opposition: by the luck of the draw our team of Foundation and Level 1 students were matched with teams of primarily Year 10 students. In the first round they debated in favour of introducing a carbon tax in order to tackle climate change, making a passionate plea for the planet – but they narrowly lost the round to Oasis Academy Shirley Park. In the second round they tried to convince the opposition of the merits of introducing a three-day weekend, but Hornsey School for Girls were able to make more varied and well-explained points. The team effort and mutual support in our group of Academy debaters was fantastic though, and they still went into the third round with high spirits. Rightly so – for in the final round they argued against the motion that only violent crimes should warrant a prison sentence and out-debated the excellent team from London Academy.

The Academy’s team was also generously supportive to their chaperone who was “volunteered” to be part of the show debate. Sadly Ms Philipp and the two debating champions on her team were unable to convince the crowd that students should be allowed to vote for their head teachers. At the end of the day the team left with a real sense of accomplishment and a £10 Nando’s voucher. Sasha and Rishi won the “best boomerang” competition on Instagram with a card trick! 

Looking back: It was almost six months ago that a few representatives of the Academy’s Debate Club walked through Westminster in the rain to attend the official Debate Mate launch event in November. Since then our students have given the fine art of debating a thorough go: they learnt how to use PEEL (point, explain, evidence, link) effectively to convey an argument, how to rebut, how to strategically request points of information and how to defend either side of a motion. From the feedback they received from the judges at the last Debate Mate Cup, it was evident just how much progress they had made since their first competition at the end of January. A huge well done to all of the students!


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