After vigorous and intensive rehearsals, a team of debaters from Oundle School are through to the Regional finals of the ESU Churchill Public Speaking Competition which will take place in March.
In the early stages of the competition, hosted at Catmose College in Oakham in January, two Oundle teams took part. Oundle Speakers were Danila Mikhaylov (15) and Will Slinger (15), Chairing were Freddie Stewart (16) and Henry Dickinson (15) and the Questioners were Tom Riegels (16) and George Brettle (16). In a tight competition against teams from Wellingborough and Catmose, Freddie was awarded an individual prize for his Chairing and the team of Will, George and Freddie was invited to move on to the Branch Final in February where they met teams from the Cambridgeshire area at the impressive and historical venue of Oakham Castle.
Head of Debating, Helen Wells commented, “This building has a challenging acoustic so it is a real measure of a team’s speaking skills in rising to the demand of ensuring that the audience and judging panel can hear them clearly.”
Will was speaking on the theme of ‘modern technology making us evermore self-obsessed’ and he was Chaired and Questioned by Bassingbourn Village College. Meanwhile, Freddie hosted Wellingborough’s Speaker who had chosen to consider whether ‘freedom is ever more than one generation away from extinction’. George posed a series of questions designed to tease out further discussion.
The evening concluded with the awarding of individual prizes with Freddie again receiving the prize for the best Chair. The team was announced as the overall winner and therefore through to the Regional Final to be held at Magdalene College Cambridge in March.
Oundle pupils also performed well at the Nottingham Schools Debating Competition on 4th February. In the ESU Mace Debating, an Oundle team of Anthony Orr (17) and Charlotte Ma (18) won the Area round hosted at Oundle but lost to Bedford School in the Regional hosted by Uppingham. Their task on that occasion was to oppose the motion that this House would support all women shortlists.