Debating and public speaking are popular and growing at City of London School for Girls and everyone is encouraged to get involved.
Almost all of the students will have participated in at least one formal debate during the year and about 12 - 18 girls in each year group debate regularly with a number having the opportunity to compete in national tournaments.
Junior debating and Intermediate debating are the training grounds for our competition debaters at Sixth Form level. Debaters meet every week and have the opportunity to participate in a huge range of annual competitions. These include the:
- English-Speaking Union’s Schools Mace Debating Competition;
- Oxford & Cambridge Union Schools Competition
We hold friendly contests with the City of London School and London independent schools regularly. There are also residential trips to the Durham Union Schools competitions every year and other opportunities that arise, such as the recent trip to Los Angeles to debate with some of the USA Worlds School team.
The House Debating Cup Competition is held annually and involves several qualifying rounds with the final debate being held in front of the whole school and before a guest adjudicator.
European Youth Paliament
Each year, nine Year 12 students take part in the South East Forum of the European Youth Parliament debating competition at Europe House. This is an excellent opportunity for girls in the Sixth Form to debate topical issues in a formal setting and against other schools. Previous debating experience is not necessary, but participants must be keen to carry out a great deal of individual research and put forward their views in a persuasive manner. Each school acts as a committee in the debate, representing for example, the Committee on Security and Defence or the Committee on Culture. The day is structured around six debates, during which each committee has to put forward their views on resolutions such as the EU's response to tackling terrorism, the migrant crisis, transatlantic trade, climate change and EU enlargement. The successful team then goes on to compete in the national finals, and, if successful there, the international finals. City has been successful at the regional forum on a number of occasions and in 2013 we competed at the international session in The Hague.
On Thursday 26th November, two keen Year 12 debaters took on a team from Westminster School in the North London Heats of the English Speaking Union Schools Mace Competition. Other schools competing on the Night were CLS and Harris Westminster Sixth Form, who were our hosts for the evening.
The CLS/HWSF debate kicked off the evening with CLS proposing the motion: 'This house would force the BBC to implement quotas for casts of all their shows'. A lively debate ensued, during which the CLSG team had time to assess the standard of debate and warm up for their own turn at the podium.
CLSG proposed the motion that 'This house would only imprison violent offenders, and would give all non-violent offenders non-custodial sentences'. The team performed brilliantly, and dealt confidently and comprehensively with points of information and later rebuttals presented to them by Westminster School in opposition.
Sadly, it was not to be our night, but the CLSG performances were given enthusiastic praise by the judge and other school coaches alike. We wish Westminster School and CLS well for the next round of the competition. Meanwhile, valuable one-to-one feedback for each of our debaters from a professional judge leaves the CLSG team armed and ready for their next competition!