Ark Debate Championships

Monday 12 March 2018

Fifteen secondary schools from the Ark Network battled it out for victory in the Senior Great Debate Championships. The event was held at Dartmouth House, London. Students discussed diverse issues such as allowing performance-enhancing drugs to be used in sports and whether there should be a ban on music that glorifies violence. 

Ark Boulton Academy was prepared and ready to take on the challenges of the day. In the first round, Sher (Y10), Rebekah (Y10) and Areeba (Y7) debated the motion 'This House would allow performance enhancing drugs.' Ark Boulton was selected to debate against Ark St Alban's Academy. Rebekah set the scene for the argument to allow performance-enhancing drugs, whilst Areeba confidently and wonderfully articulated her point of the importance of allowing those who are in need of medicine to participate in sports. Areeba stood out with her exuberant energy and strong presence.

Overall, Ark Boulton debaters were keen, resilient, articulate and organised when putting their points across. They worked together as a team to inform each other’s responses, therefore were able to come out on top against Ark St Albans Academy debaters. We were victorious in parts of our debates with Rebekah winning a trophy for the best question; this was in recognition of her initiative and bravery in being part of the floor debates. 

In the 'unseen debate' round, Deqa (Y10), Ishaq (Y7) and Areeba (Y7) were asked to argue in favour of banning school uniform. Students spent five minutes talking, sharing notes, and coming up with ideas. They were able to organise themselves without teacher intervention, and held their own argument very well. The judge complimented our academy for forming divergent ideas that were intuitive and which showed a critical thought process. The judge further credited our students with their confident mannerisms when debating and for clearly structuring ideas amongst themselves. 

The team was coached by Ark Boulton’s English teacher Ms Ismail, who said: "It was an honour to work with these dedicated students. They were able to develop their talents for public speaking and debating social issues; as well as becoming resilient and confident debaters. The Ark Debating Competition brought out the best in these students, as I was able to witness them exhibiting care and consideration towards one another and other students. Well done Ark Boulton debaters."