Public Speaking and Debating

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In Forms 1, 2 and 3, all boys take part in Inter-House Public Speaking in the third term. Students are encouraged to talk about anything that interests them, so long as it is persuasive. There is usually a wide variety of topics covered.

In Forms 4 and 5, students are able to participate in national competitions run by the English-Speaking Union (ESU), further improving their communication skills and confidence in speaking in front of an audience.

Sixth Form students are encouraged to enter the prestigious Mace Debate, also run by the ESU, in which the debating is of a very high calibre. In recent years, the Senior Debating Team has beaten off strong competition to reach the Regional Finals at Dartmouth House. As described by the ESU, “students will not only develop strong critical thinking and public speaking skills, but also get the opportunity to engage with other students from a range of different backgrounds throughout England.”

Furthermore, students from the Lower Sixth are able to take part in the Model United Nations Conference. This prestigious event runs in the last weekend of the Lent Term and involves eight hundred and fifty students from four different continents. They come together to analyse and propose solutions to the pertinent and pressing issues facing the world. The boys throw themselves into the process of resolution writing with gusto and there is often a lively and heated debate in committee.

The boys also have opportunities to lead assemblies for their Houses and year groups, as part of the pastoral programme.