This year saw Challoner’s first ever House Debating Competition, where 32 pairs from Years 9 and 10 battled hard to attain the prestigious title of Debating Champions. The knockout tournament consisted of short 20 minute matches where competitors spoke for three and a half minutes each on a pre-determined motion, with the winner progressing onto the next of a total of five rounds.

The first round draw was extremely successful in attracting competitors and spectators alike, and the debating room was packed with a vast array of enthusiastic students eager to find out who they, or their peers, were to be drawn up against. Fixtures were held during lunchtimes allowing fellow students to watch, encourage, and learn from the other debaters. As the competition went on there were various tense fixtures in which students from the same form group were matched up against each other, and in one particular case two of the competition favourites were matched up as early as the second round and had to settle for a late fixture due to tight scheduling: it was by far one of the most tense matches of the competition.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/HUAUF9uGuMw

After a long run of close matches, the time had come for the final. This time the venue was the school hall, allowing a much larger audience, and there were now three judges instead of just one. The motion to be debated was ‘This house believes teaching fiction texts in schools is unnecessary’, and speakers were given five minutes each to talk, which allowed them to spend a lot more time criticizing the opponents’ line of argument as well as putting forward their own points. In the end it was the opposition that came out victorious, with Matthew Dagnall and Thomas Franks winning the overall competition, Dominic Dunster and Dominic Goodman taking a close second place.

The whole championship was a spectacular event, and will be followed by a new league system next year for all students in Year 9 and above. On behalf of all the competitors and spectators, I would like to thank Mr Spenceley for organising and running such an amazing competition on such a large scale.