Senior House Debates: Extremism and Shakespeare

18 November 2020

 

When Caldicott boys get involved in house events, there is always an extra level of determination and desire to outperform their peers. Last week's Senior House Debates were no exception. 

Following a draw from sealed envelopes, it was determined that Cooper would take on Wood in the first debate: 'This house believes that extremist political groups should be banned' and Jenkins would argue against McArthur in the second debate: 'This house believes that there is no point teaching Shakespeare in schools.'

The boys had a week to assemble their teams, construct their arguments and prepare for the rhetorical sparring!

Given current guidelines on large groups assembling, we are indebted to Mr Brown, whose expertise allowed us to broadcast the debates from Centenary Hall to the boarders in their prep classrooms, and to the wider Caldicott community. Our judge for the evening, Mrs Anna Howard, Head of English at Beachborough School, was also able to watch the proceedings and provide the boys with her excellent feedback without having to take the journey over to us.

In the first debate, Mrs Howard was particularly complimentary about the opening speaker for the opposition, Yoyo Z of Wood, who delivered a speech with great gravitas and rhetorical heft. She also praised the opposition's summing up, skilfully delivered by Ben Shailer. The most impressive part of this debate was the high standard of questioning and response in the middle section: Zain P for Wood and Leo F for Cooper were well matched and always ready with a riposte. The judge ultimately decided that Wood were the winners of this debate.

Following this, Jenkins had the unenviable task of trying to persuade an English teacher that there was no point in teaching Shakespeare! Daniel BP was praised for his assured opening speech for the proposition. McArthur provided some well thought out responses, particularly in the speeches delivered by Henry C and Harrison E. In the end, Mrs Howard decided that Jenkins had narrowly outperformed their opposition and they were declared the winners of the second debate.

The best performing team on the night were Wood and they claimed the Senior House Debating Cup.

Many thanks to our judge for taking the time to consider the arguments on display and for giving the boys such valuable feedback and advice.

 

Click here to watch the full length debate

 

To read more stories from Caldicott, take a look at our News Archive and keep an eye on our Instagram,  Facebook and Twitter pages.