Students compete in DRET Debating Cup

Students from secondary academies across the David Ross Education Trust (DRET) came together to compete in the annual DRET Debating Cup Final.

The heated contest, which was held at the Lakeside Arts Centre within the University of Nottingham, allowed students to debate political topics such as ‘the voting age should be reduced to 16’ and ‘war can never be justified’.

The Year 9 students, who have been taking part in debating workshops throughout the year, also discussed issues such as the legal age of driving should be raised to 25 and cosmetic surgery should be banned.

Following consistent and convincing debating, Malcolm Arnold Academy were crowned champions of the competition, whilst Charnwood College’s debaters came in at an impressive second place.

Sir Michael Graydon GCB, CBE, a former Chief of the Air Staff and Governor of the English Speaking Union, was on hand to offer valuable advice and present trophies to the worthy winners.

After a flawless performance, Malcolm Arnold Academy student Joshua Hailey was awarded the individual winner’s trophy, whilst Charles Read Academy student Florence Shilcock scooped the runner-up prize.

Mina Chowdury, a student from Charnwood College, also took home the title of ‘Most Improved Debater’ in recognition of the development of her confidence and skills throughout the competition.

Caroline Bingham, a Member of the English Speaking Union, was as guest judge at the event. She said:“The students’ confidence, clarity of argument and presentation skills were outstanding.

“The DRET Debating Cup is a great opportunity for the students to undertake the challenge of delivering a convincing argument – it made my job as a judge very difficult!”

The annual debating cup is part of DRET’s impressive enrichment programme, which aims to encourage every student to develop their passions and explore new opportunities.

Susanna Kemp, Secondary Enrichment Coordinator at DRET, said: “I was really impressed with all who took part.

“It was fantastic to see the students building key life skills and becoming more self-confident throughout the competition.”