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    Debating News - Oxford Schools Finals

    On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th March, Year 12 students Alice and Ruben represented the school at finals weekend of the Oxford Union Schools Debating Competition. This is a very prestigious event, which sees the top 120 debating teams from around the world compete against each other - this year it was held virtually with over 30 breakout rooms happening at once.

    Over the course of Saturday, there were four debates on the following motions;

    • This House believes that schools should teach more life skills (e.g. cooking, driving, financial literacy) at the expense of academic subjects (e.g. Maths, Science, History). (CSG in closing proposition)
    • This House believes that mass tourism does more harm than good in developing nations. (CSG in closing opposition)
    • This House would ban the media from reporting on terrorist attacks in the immediate aftermath. (CSG in opening proposition)
    • This House regrets the emphasis placed on personality in politics. (CSG in opening opposition)

    Alice and Ruben did incredibly well throughout the day, debating against teams from across the UK as well as Canada and Hungary. They won their room in the first and fourth debates - an outstanding achievement on finals day. 

    Judges commented on their clear structure, analysis and nuanced points towards these complex motions. This was particularly impressive as both Alice and Ruben hadn't done any debating before joining the Sixth Form last year.

    At the end of the day, Alice and Ruben were declared good enough to make it to the novice final on Sunday. This means they were one of the top four teams of debaters who hadn't competed before. It was a fantastic achievement to make it to finals day alone - progressing to the novice final was truly outstanding.


    On Sunday, the novice final was on the following motion;
    This House would prevent employers from accessing the criminal records of potential employees (excluding sex offences). (CSG in closing opposition)

    At the end of the day, the judges declared that the winner of the novice finals was the Milestone Institute - a school from Budapest. 

    While Ruben and Alice didn't win the novice final, the weekend was an incredibly worthwhile experience for both students and their success reflects the excellent standard of debating at Camden!

    Mr Gunn