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Queenswood is an extraordinary place with extraordinary people. It would be our privilege to educate your daughters here.

Debating Matters – Regional Winners

Friday 25 October 2013

Queenswoodsenior debaters entered the national ‘Debating Matters’ competition, run by the
Institute of Ideas, in October 2013. The competition involved four debaters,
split into two teams and given a side of a debate to prepare for some weeks in
advance of the contest. They had to draft speeches and arguments, and anticipate
opposition plans.

The girls
worked very hard in lunchtime and after-school sessions to explore how best to present
their case on two very complex issues. In both cases, we felt we were given the
tougher side to promote: respectively, calling for the restriction of healthcare
to those with unhealthy lifestyles, and refuting the call for more investment
in renewables, to achieve a low carbon economy now.

A team of a
dozen debaters helped to work through, prepare and practise arguments, research
evidence and run mock debates to explore weaknesses in our arguments. Finally
we travelled to Bury St Edmunds to compete in the Suffolk regional qualifier,
as the Hertfordshire group was over-subscribed.

Abi Williams
and Maddy Murphy presented our first debate against a very experienced
opposition and narrowly won. This was followed by a resounding and complete
victory by Miti Shah and Ellen Gaukroger in the second round debate, meaning
that we went through to the Regional final as champions. The judges were keen
to point out that the girls were very good at responding to the issues and
questions raised by themselves and the opposition, and that it was this
capacity to reply to points and control where the debate took place that
ensured their victory. Added to this, the judging panel selected Ellen
Gaukroger as the best debater over all – a superb accolade for Ellen given it
was her first ever debate. In truth, congratulations must go to the whole team
of twelve debaters who helped to prepare the quartet for victory.

now go through to the East regional final in March, where they will compete
against the champions of Northants, Essex, Herts, Cambs and Norfolk. You can
find out more about the competition and follow their progress at

We have
entered eight more national debating tournaments this academic year, at a
variety of age levels, and we hope to be able to report more success in the
near future.