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Debating Day Glory

    19 October 2016

Sherfield School hosted its seventh Annual Prep School Debating Competition this week.

Five local schools took part – Sherfield, Yateley Manor, Farleigh, LVS Ascot and Holme Grange – with each putting forward two teams.

Sherfield A team were crowned winners of the competition, overcoming Yateley Manor B in the final, with Sherfield B coming in third place.

The teams were made up of two students each, from either year 7 or 8, with each team participating in a minimum of four debates. Teams were given 20 minutes to prepare once the motion for the debate was drawn.

There was a wide variety of topics, with motions ranging from whether or not all cars should be electric to the ideal length of the summer holidays. The motion for the final debate was: ‘This house believes we will always be European’.

Each debate saw the motion proposed and opposed twice, questions from the floor and a summary of arguments from each team. The debates were judged by impartial teachers who also provided feedback for the teams.

Debating has numerous benefits for both young people and adults. It builds general knowledge around varied subject areas, develops communication skills in the form of both speech and body language, and increases confidence and self-esteem.

Teacher of Maths at Sherfield and organiser of the competition, Derek Ferrier, said the day was a huge success.

“The competition this year was excellent,” commented Mr Ferrier.

“It is designed for novice speakers of 11 to 13 years and we had a terrific development of all the speakers during the day as they competed with and learnt from each other.

“The standard this year was the highest we have seen. Public speaking is a valuable life skill and these young people have become confident standing up to speak in front of others.”

Megan, a member of the triumphant Sherfield team, said: “This was a unique opportunity for me to try debating – I hope to be able to do more in the future. Every competing team was worthy of winning, but it was fantastic to win at our first competition.”

Head of Sherfield Prep School, Mr Meakin reflected “When young children intercept me in the corridor, jumping up and down with excitement over their performance at debating, we know we are doing something worthwhile and meaningful. Well done to all who took part.”

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