The Swans Debate Club is a valued cornerstone of our school community and an essential enrichment activity that we are very proud to offer.
Our students use this forum to develop communication skills; their confidence in themselves grows, as does an ability to be open-minded and to think critically.
Thankfully, the Sixth Form debate club has been able to safely continue within its bubble, in spite of COVID restrictions that made many of our other extracurricular activities impossible this academic year. These Debate Club students have become exceptionally articulate in both English and Spanish.
Even though it was half term last week, they did not rest.
The prestigious IE Debate Challenge 2021 was fiercely competitive, running over 4 days, with schools participating from all over Spain. From the get-go, Seve, Mencia, Nabil, Roni and Felipe performed with confidence, and this self-belief was not at all misplaced – they participated in 9 matches and won every one of them! On Sunday, the Swans School Debate Team were officially crowned as winners of the tournament, and to much applause. Thanks to its current online format, the Swans community was able to tune in and watch the live tournament.
“Absolutely amazing. I'm beaming. Well done. They are so impressive!” said Headteacher, Mr Rob at a particularly key juncture of one high-energy debate.
Seve and Mr King not only coached and supported the team through all of these matches but provided regular updates on their progress for those who weren’t able to watch. “They were simply wonderful, tactical speakers. A true credit to our school.”
Whilst the IE tournament is the highlight of the Debate Club’s activities this academic year, the victory is the clear result of their hard work and commitment since September.
In November, they formed an A and B team to compete in the V Liga Debate Universitario, subsequently battling against each other to secure semi-final places. After three days of debating, our two teams were first and second in the national league.
In February, Samuel and Mencia qualified for the national finals of the Model European Parliament debate.
Debates are often incorporated into IB English lessons as the IA oral exam is worth 25% of the overall grade. In February students argued on the theme “sharing the planet”.
In addition five of our students (Samuel, Nabil, Diego, Elias and Simone) will be taking part in the regional round of the European Youth Parliament (EYP) debating competition. We have high hopes that they’ll follow in the footsteps of Maria Moro’s previous success in this competition – Maria is now studying International Politics at the University of Cambridge.
There is no doubt that good debates help our students to better understand issues and to arrive at well-reasoned decisions. We look to empower our students with finely tuned life skills that will not only aid in academic success, but also in life beyond the classroom.
For more information on the Swans School debate team, click below and listen to Swans Radio, with host Samuel Reque.
All Year 12 and Year 13 students are welcome at the Debate Club. Please feel free to join us in room 102 on Wednesdays after school.
We also hope to be able to bring the extracurricular activity back for students from Year 6 to Year 11 from September 2021.