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Junior School students sharpen oracy and debating skills at the Senior School

Junior School students sharpen oracy and debating skills at the Senior School

St Mary's Senior School offers a wide range of opportunities for students to sharpen their debating and oracy skills. Whether enjoying casual debating activities and meeting new people at the Debating Club, or competing in national competitions, our students develop public speaking and argumentation skills that both support their studies across subjects, and build important communication skills for their next steps in life. This year, we have been giving Junior School students the chance to experience these skills even earlier and to enjoy a foretaste of the opportunities at offer in the Senior School.

Before Christmas, Year 5 visited the English Department at the Senior School and took part in a great morning of poetry, oracy, performance and fun. They rehearsed and performed poems, linked to the national Poetry by Heart competition. Mrs Cottingham said:

'The Year 5 pupils were very enthusiastic and excited; they had a super morning, making good use of our brilliant Drama Studio facilities and enjoying the lunch (and cookies!) at the Senior School!'

On 24 January, Year 6 joined our Debating Club and took part in some fun debating activities. In the Drama Studio, the students formed teams and took part in three mini-debates: 'This House believes that zoos should be illegal'; 'This House believes that every home should have a pet'; and 'This House believes that each household should only be allowed to eat meat once a week to save the planet'.

Each team was supported by members of the Senior School debating team, who helped them to craft thoughtful and well-structured arguments supporting or opposing their motion. Every Junior School student spoke during the debate, practising their public speaking skills. A winning team for each debate was chosen and prizes were awarded. Special congratulations are due to Tilly B., who was awarded the prize for 'Best Speaker'.  

The Year 5 and Year 6 loved their sessions and are looking forward to the many debating opportunities available at the Senior School.