The event, which was moderated by Fiona Potts from Channel 103, saw mixed teams of year nine students take to the stage at JCG in front of an audience of 50 parents, students and teachers/members of the community. The school debate teams were made up of marketers, researchers, and debaters.
‘The students who took part in the debate were of a very high standard, they were controlled and concise in their delivery. The quality of the content in the debate was excellent and covered multiple ideas and concepts,’ said Mrs Potts, who declared a draw on the evening.
‘I’d say that amongst the group there are some budding lawyers. The students are fortunate to be offered these opportunities and should grasp and relish the chance to add to their normal curriculum.’
The event was introduced by Donna Withers, Head of Wills and Probate at Hawksford. Ms Withers added: ‘There were some well formed arguments in favour of and against reality TV, it was very impressive. So much so, that at the start of the evening there was a majority against reality TV, but by the end it was 50-50. These students did themselves proud; they showed real passion and had clearly researched their subjects well.
‘Reality TV was a particularly relevant topic for the students. Their reading and interpretation of shows such as The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea was very astute, and the debate considered how far youngsters’ use of social media channels, such as Instagram and Snapchat, creates their own online ‘reality’ personas.’
The JCG-Hawksford Debate Series was set up in October 2012 to provide students with an opportunity to develop their rhetorical skills and to work together to consider the important issues that many of them could face in the future. The series was opened up to include other schools in October 2013, when a debate was held involving JCG and Grainville pupils.