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Well done to the members of the Cirencester College Debating Society, who recently competed in the first round of the English-Speaking Union’s Mace debating competition, the oldest and largest school debating competition in the UK.

Year 1 students Jai, Saige, Daisy and Sairaam formed the Cirencester College team for the first round of the competition, competing against five other local schools. Team Cirencester competed against a challenging Wycliffe College team proposing the claim that “This house believes that environmental campaigning should focus on changing government policy rather than individual behaviours.”. Although it was a tough debate, the team argued for the need for laws to change people’s behaviours when it comes to protecting the environment, arguing that the government is able to achieve so much more than individuals can achieve alone.

After a brilliant night, the team were thrilled to find out they were one of the three successful teams who will move onto the next round of the competition taking place in January 2024.

A special mention to Saige and Jai, who stepped in at the last minute to debate Stroud High School opposing the claim “This house would broadcast court cases in the British justice system.” With just one hour to research and put together a speech, they made a valiant effort to step up and debate. Despite the short time frame, they put together a strong argument noting the dangers that come from broadcasting court cases, particularly focusing on the potential harm that could be brought about when people have their crimes broadcast to the whole nation.

Sairaam said “This was a great opportunity to build our teamwork and communication skills, it has been very rewarding during and after the competition.”

Fiona Templeton, Lecturer and one of the leaders of the Debating Society, said “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our students. They were able to showcase their fantastic research and articulated their views with confidence and style.”

Another team in the Debating Society are busy preparing to compete in the Ethics Cup in January 2024. We wish both teams the best of luck.

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