Fareham College hosted the annual local school Debating Competition on Friday, 25 March. Student representatives were present from a range of local schools, including Cams Hill School, Boundary Oak School, Portchester Community School, Fareham Academy and Brookfield Community School.
Topics of debate ranged from the removal of controversial statues, arguments that social media has a positive influence on teenagers, and a proposition that Fareham should receive city status. Judges for the competition included Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP, Mark Waldron, Editor of The News, Portsmouth and Andrew Kaye, Principal and CEO of Fareham College.
Suella Braverman QC MP commented on the exceptional standard delivered by students. “As an MP and during previous roles as a barrister, I am very passionate about the value and power of effective debate. The content of debates presented has been incredibly powerful; the time students have spent researching and preparing is evident. Students demonstrated various debating styles, engaged with the audience in innovative and creative ways, and made funny jokes during the competition. There has been a lot of talent on show today.”
Mark Waldron, Editor at The News, Portsmouth, praised the outstanding effort of all school teams; “The students have done a fantastic job as always. We have given them some really meaty subjects to discuss, and they have done so with confidence, and the preparation is evident. The quality of debate has made our job very difficult as judges!”
The exceptional facilities at Fareham College provided a backdrop to the competition hosted at the Bishopsfield Road Campus. Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP highlighted the outstanding audio facilities and professional theatre accompanied by adjoining rooms supporting visiting students to prepare.
Andrew Kaye, Principal and CEO of Fareham College, said, “I am delighted that the annual Fareham School Debating Competition has returned following delays due to Covid. Fareham College is a brilliant venue at the heart of our local community, and we work closely with school partners to deliver innovative and exciting events. I have been incredibly impressed with the contribution of the students, teaching and support staff and look forward to this event returning next year.”
Discussing the event after their debate, Ashton and Daisy from Fareham Academy, who argued opposing the use of social media for teenagers, commented, “We were really passionate about the topic we were given and felt we worked together as a team well. At first, we didn’t realise how negative social media can be on young people’s wellbeing, so debating the topic helped increase our understanding.”
Boundary Oak School students Ava and Winnie were awarded the overall winner for their outstanding debate opposing the statement, “This House Believes That Controversial Statues Should be Removed”, with special mention for Fareham Academy student Daisy being awarded Best Overall Speaker.