The Oxford Union Society's annual schools' competition is the biggest schools debating competition in the UK, aimed at students aged 14-18.
The workshop, which was held on Thursday 2 October, welcomed pupils and staff from six West Midlands schools and colleges including Kings Norton Girls' School, King Edward VI College Stourbridge, King Edwards Stratford upon Avon, RGS Worcester, Warwick School and Colmers School. The pupils were joined by students from Cadbury College’s Debating Society, who are all aiming to compete in this year’s competition.
Experienced Oxford Union debaters ran the workshop and introduced students to the British Parliamentary debating style which included tips on coming up with arguments, structuring speeches and speaking with confidence. There was also a talk about student life in Oxford and applying to the university.
Cadbury College is a specialist sixth form for 16 to 18 year olds. It’s Debating Society has been running for two years and last year’s chair gained a place to study History at the University of Cambridge.
As well as entering competitions, the society runs weekly debates on campus. Topics discussed this term include funding cosmetic surgery on the NHS and whether the NHS should be dismantled.
The next stage in the Oxford Union Schools Debating Competition is the regional rounds with the best teams gaining a place to compete in Finals Day, which is held at the historic Oxford Union.
Brenda Inman, Assistant Director and Religious Studies Teacher at Cadbury College, said:
“The Oxford Union Debating Competition really helps students to analyse arguments, spot flaws, and deliver persuasive speeches with passion and flair. Those students involved in the workshops and members of the Cadbury College debating teams have all learnt great deal from being involved and are now well prepared for the regional rounds.”