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Belmont Debating

January 2020 saw the launch of a new club at Belmont – Debating. This club was revived by teachers in response to our school focus on developing skills for the future. Having a powerful voice and, more importantly, being able to use it effectively and appropriately is an essential skill for young people and adults; our aim is to foster in our children a respect for themselves, one another and the world that we live in.

The club went off with a – New Year style – bang, with 22 eager minds signing up to have their voices heard. In the first session, we discussed the importance of knowing the world you live in and being immersed in the news – past, present and future. At the end of the session, we held a mini-competition where children had to persuade their peers on a particular topic of their choice: using only 20 words. The prize – the focus for this term’s debate. Asha (8JI) reigned victorious and she chose for the group to research and engage with a very important current issue: the Australian Forest Fires.

This week – and an apt week to be discussing this topic alongside Miss Gimpel’s bake sale – we had the pleasure of a ‘lecture’ from Mr Howells on the scientific side of climate change and the bush fires – giving the group hard facts to use in their arguments. He inspired the children through probing questions and challenged their opinions against their existing understanding of the topic. Some of the answers and reasoning from the children was astounding, and exemplified the importance of cross-curricular thinking.

Over the next two weeks, the group will work in their teams to write their speeches and research further around the topic, and we will be back with an update on which side garnered success after half term.

“I really enjoyed Mr Howells teaching us more about our environment and how much global warming will affect people and animals.” (Rianna 6RB)

“We learnt about the environmental side of what could be the reason for the bushfires in Australia. I found it extremely interesting.” (Evgeniya 7AW)

“Mr Howells gave us some very fascinating points that will really help us in our debate. It was interesting to learn how real the situation in Australia was, and how global warming is taking over the world that we live in.” (Maya 8NB)

Miss Bufton (Head of English) and Mrs Watters (Head of Learning Support)