Even though the night of the 5th of December was minus three degrees outside, inside was heated… from the debates. The Debating Matters competition, organised by Sydney Russell’s own Mr Sullivan, Dr Longson and Ms Botwe, was between Oaklands School, Newham Sixth Form College and, of course, The Sydney Russell Sixth Form.
The first debate was between Sydney Russell and Newham Sixth Form and the motion was “Humans Should Fear the Advancements of Artificial Intelligence” and Sydney Russell were against the motion. Our two speakers were Nahid Ahmed in year 12 and Abraham Akinola in year 13 and spoke amazingly, so well that they won their debate! Abraham even won the individual student award for his composed and insightful performance, chosen by the tough panel of judges.
The second motion, “Monuments to Controversial Figures Should Remain”, was debated by Newham Sixth Form College and Oaklands School. One of the Newham Sixth Form College representative, Agnus, gave a well-spoken opening and closing speech, highlighting how monuments shouldn’t remain due to the fact they can trigger others.
The last motion, “Political Parties Are Bad for Democracy”, was between Oaklands School and Sydney Russell Sixth Form. Our speakers included Government and Politics A-Level students Yassin Kamara and Daniel Falayi, and their knowledge of politics really shone through during the debate. Sadly they were narrowly beaten by Oaklands School in the high calibre final debate, but one of the judges believed that Daniel’s performance was “too convincing”, and that he should go into politics.
Sadly our Debating Matters team were not victorious overall last night. All four students gave a brilliant account of themselves but Oaklands School scraped their overall win of the event. Nevertheless, hours of preparation and research went into their performances and they should be very proud of themselves. As should Mr Sullivan, Dr Longson and Ms Botwe for organising and working with these students and hosting the event.
Written by Nicola Tomlin and Amanda Daud