After seeing the success of the Debating Matters Online debates run during the Lockdown, former Debating Matters Director Tony Gilland took the spirit of DM Online and decided to engage some old contacts from his time running Debating Matters India (2008-2014). Tony organised three debates between Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and teams in India.
In this article, Debating Matters competitor Emma Gilland reports on the success of the series of debates:
Through the early month of lockdown many of us felt that not only were we missing out on school but in fact we were missing out on more than that, as all our time, thoughts and conversation were consumed by the dramas and injustices of lockdown. Although it could be seen that this brought a certain level of abnormality and interest it also was the centre of repetitive and dull conversation, which is why the re-ignition of the Debating Matters India online was such a great experience.
With schools closed for the majority of students and lockdown underway, we want to offer some support for teachers thinking about what to engage pupils with. There is lots that can be done to generate a spirit of intellectual inquiry, discussion and debate.
We’ve always referred to teachers as the ‘unsung heroes’ of the competition. Indeed, the resilience of many teachers and the hard work that organising classes remotely will entail means that teachers are ‘unsung heroes’ for society more broadly. We want to support teachers as much as possible.
As part of our DM Oxfordshire Championship 2019, the final debate of the competition and an extra public debate are being presented as a special event at the Oxford Union. This two-part event is part of the Oxford Festival of the Arts. You can buy tickets here.
Sixth-form students from eight schools in the North East will battle it out for the title of Debating Matters North East Champions 2019 at a flagship day of debate on Friday 5th July. The event will be hosted at the Durham Sixth Form Centre.
Registration is now open for the competition, which sees 16- to 18-year-olds take part in a series of debates in what has been dubbed ‘the UK’s toughest debating competition’. Local schools will generally enter teams of between six and eight sixth-form students, and Debating Matters particularly welcomes applications from schools without a history of traditional debating.