King Edward VI Debate Society

Ever wondered what KEVI Debate Society is and what they do? The current Chair, Alex Bailey, tells us all about it.

KEVI Debate Society is a club which meets every Thursday to discuss a range of thought provoking issues. We debate everything from politics to feminism and international relations to current affairs.

The debates take the format of ”British parliamentary” in which there are 8 speakers, 4 of whom talk for the motion and 4 of whom speak against. Speeches are 5 minutes long and the final two speeches are summaries of the debate as a whole.

Debate has taught me how to communicate effectively and I hope with some panache. At the very least it is something that I have had an amazing amount of fun doing- possibly because I am quite loud to begin with but probably because it is a fantastic past time to take part in.

 This year I have enjoyed the huge honour of being the Chair of the society. This has involved setting the weekly motions and asking other students to give small seminars about given topics. For the first time, the society has organised a debate workshop for year 7 and 8 students from the three middle schools. The morning proved to be a huge success, with all of the students learning the key skills needed to talk part in a full debate but most importantly, they all had fun doing it. We are also going to be putting on a show debate for a school from the East end of London so give them an idea of the types of clubs and societies that we do at KEVI

This year the society has enjoyed great success in many inter-school competitions. Scott Martin and Phoebe Hoggan reached the grand final of the Northern Junior Debate Competition. This after Phoebe had only debated twice before. Jacob Gunn, Jack O’Neill and Scott Martin progressed to the second round of the English Speaking Union’s public speaking competition. Jane Booth and I represented the school at the inaugural Debate Mate competition in London last month where we placed 7th nationally. We also reached the final of the English Speaking Union’s Mace completion where we placed 6th out of over 250 schools who entered. The progress of all of our debaters this year has been unprecedented. Everyone has pushed their debating skills to their very limits.

I am incredibly proud to have been the Chair of a society that has so many intelligent and forward thinking people in it. I have made some of my best friends through debating not only from King Edward’s but from other schools too and I will always have very fond memories of debate at KEVI.