23/04/2010 by mcmakarolyn
Manchester Creative and Media Academy (Girls) students mirrored the recent national election debates when they competed against the area’s debating talent in the Richard Koch Cup last week.
The all-day event at Manchester Metropolitan University took place after two previous rounds of The Urban Debate League, part of national debating programme ‘Debate Mate’.
Preparing for success
Students were spilt into two individual teams and mentors – who are university debaters themselves – helped them prepare for the three debate rounds.
The students in MC&MA team A were Naomi Yeboah, Gledisa Musollari, Sylvia Ombati and Ellen Krampitz. Junelle Finlayson, Masonga Kinsala, Emily Devlin, Ebony Dobbs and Heather Murray were in Team B.
The motion of the first debate was: ‘This house believes voting should be made compulsory’. The other two were hidden until the debate was due to begin.
Our pupils raised valid and relevant points that were persuasive, succinct and intelligent.
The other schools involved were Manchester Academy, Our Ladys R.C High School and Abraham Moss High School. Our students were accompanied by ICT teacher Mr Graham and English teacher Miss Boufield.
The winner will go through to a national final, where they will debate against schools from Birmingham and London.
Encouraging and aspirational
The Urban Debate League, which has been running in schools for two years, aims to encourage debate about social issues and increase verbal intelligence in young people.
Peter Barton, Programme Director of Debate Mate, said: “The aim of this isn’t to create great debaters – in fact that’s a secondary aim – we’re really looking to give students the skills they need.
“[These include] confidence, ability to think on their feet, ability to react, and some awareness of how to structure an argument, engage with others, think and listen.”
He added how Debate Mate gives school pupils the chance to understand about and aspire towards university by working with the mentors: “The idea is that, them being university students themselves, are role models so they can break down those barriers because university is seen as such a distant thing.”