Debating is at the heart of our curriculum in Elmhurst and is one of our strengths as a school. To be able to debate is to have a voice – it is a demonstration of empowerment, critical thinking and character. We encourage all of our children to build these skills, and debating is embedded within our English curriculum, but also across the foundation subjects.
Elmhurst works with a phenomenal charity called DebateMate to run the Newham Debating Leagues and it is phenomenal to see the impact of high-quality debating spreading throughout the whole borough.
Formal debates are when teams of students compose and deliver arguments around an important policy issues, such as climate change or how the country should be run. By doing this, the children are learning more about the world they live in and their place in it as local, national and global citizens.
We have a proud history of competitive debating, with our teams regularly placing among the top school’s nationally. We have previously been crowned London champions and have made it into the finals of the national contest, competing at prestigious venues, such as the University of Oxford.
At our school, we strive to give our pupils the greatest possible opportunities, including within their extra-curricular activities. Through our two after-school debating clubs, we foster a range of skills, including confidence, vocabulary, grammar, fluency, reasoning, critical analysis, logical thought, teamwork, resilience, competitiveness, research skills, intellectual curiosity and speed of thought. This will help them greatly in their studies, their school life and far beyond.