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Samuel Whitbread Academy


This month Samuel Whitbread Academy entered three teams into the Haart International Debate competition. In this competition, school students from around the globe have been debating contentious topics from the values of online learning to the importance of freedom of speech. In the first round, all teams were able to prepare their arguments in advance, the second round was even more exciting, only being able to see the topic twenty minutes before the debate itself! All of our teams won their first round!

We had two Year 9 teams involved, with many students backing them up by helping them to prepare for the speech and practise their debating skills. Our first Year 9 team clearly stated their case, being praised for their clear line of argument and ability to counter questions being asked. With our second Year 9 team, we had a brave volunteer from Robert Bloomfield Academy, William, who opened up the debate by presenting the opening arguments. His arguments set up a brilliant series of points that helped lead the team to victory. We also have some versatile students who were willing to step in last minute due to student absence, who also helped their team to win.

The Year 10 team worked with Year 12 to create a series of excellent arguments that helped win their first round. A massive well done should go to the Year 10 members, and a Year 9 last minute reserve who stepped in, who were praised for their excellent presentation skills and clarity of the arguments and their answers to difficult questions posed by the opposition. The competition also awards a ‘star debater’ for each team, so far, Abigail and Oliver of Year 9 have achieved this honour, as has the quick-thinking Ben from Year 10. I have included the team lists below of those students who should be commended for their debating skills, but would also like to say a massive thank you and well done to ALL of the students who have worked so hard to help our teams.

SWA KS3 Team 1: Rosie, Emily, Oliver and Damien

SWA KS3 Team 2: Ayesha, Abigail, Fletcher, Harry and Rupert

SWA KS4/5 Team: Nathan, Adam, Ben, Imogen and Charlie