Barely baptised with the waters of rhetoric, and already our pupils had to face – and talk – off against Marlborough House and Holmewood House in a friendly, but nonetheless hotly contested, debating tournament.

We sent two teams of two pupils each – team 1 being Mary KB and Tom S;  team 2 Nathan L and Dexter B.

In the first round Tom and Mary argued, very sensibly, against the motion that public schools should be abolished, but unfortunately did not manage to convince the judge, losing by one frustrating point. Of course, the debaters were not only judged on the content of their arguments, but also on their delivery, teamwork, timing and how they raised and dealt with points of information. Nathan and Dexter fared better arguing for junk food to be banned on public transport and won their first debate against Holmewood House. The second round smiled less kindly on both our teams, but they were both up to the two teams that eventually made it into the finals, so losing was not dishonourable. Once again, given the topics, one would have thought that at least Nathan and Dexter should have won, as they argued for compulsory parenting lessons for aspiring parents. Tom and Mary had a harder brief, arguing against homework being banned – never a winner in the school environment.

All four presented their arguments clearly, made good points of information and worked well as a team. But above all, they all had fun and were buoyant after the event. We look forward to a re-match next term.