Our students got the opportunity today to hone their public speaking and debating skills, invaluable to anyone, no matter what their future career path. The Oxford Union is internationally renowned, and has been graced by the presence of various politicians, celebrities, and artists over its almost 200 year long history.
Notable speakers from the Union’s past include Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Mother Theresa, Stephen Hawking, and Michael Jackson – they were no competition though for our bright and talented students!
Even though some of our students were completely new to the concept of organised debating, and many more had never experienced the British Parliamentary debating, all grasped the opportunity with both hands and outdid all expectations!
They began with a session about dialogue for debate, helping to think about how to address topics in a helpful and productive manner, before moving on to the debate sessions. First they eased into the idea of debating publicly with some fun exercises, culminating in a balloon debate! The keener debaters were then able to put their names forward to participate in the grand final.
After regrouping with burritos in the beautiful union courtyard, the final was able to begin! All teams did admirably, but unfortunately not everyone could win – huge congratulations must go to Alvaro and Osarumwense for their amazing performances! All our students were winners in our eyes though, as they all threw themselves into the debate, gave it their all, and learned lots. Atsal was so inspired by the debating masterclass that he’s even planning to set up a debating club in his school back home, and try and get into international debating competitions – amazing!