Co-Curricular: Debating Society
Updated: Wed 15 May 2013
Mr D Harkin
The art of debating is central to many sought after careers including law, politics, the civil service, management and consultancy. It is excellent preparation for university, especially History, PPE, Philosophy and other humanities. It is also hugely enjoyable in its own right. There really is nothing more impressive than utterly demolishing your opponent through the power of your argument alone. (Ask Mr Barfield.)
Whitgift has a thriving debating scene, run by students for students. We have a weekly debate for the Senior School, addressing topical issues chosen by students. Teachers regularly participate in these, especially in the popular Charity Debates at Christmas and Easter.
The Society runs a Speakers’ Tab and every year we award the Mayor’s Gavel for the best Senior Debater. These are complemented by training sessions and workshops, throughout the year, run by experienced debaters from Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities.
The School takes part in a number of local, national and international competitions. It has won the International Karl Popper Championships in 2008 and came second in the competition in 2010. School teams have progressed through to Finals Day for the Oxford Union Schools competition. We have won the United Nations Association trophy twice in the past three years.