'It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.' Joseph Joubert, French writer 1754-1824.

On Monday 30th January, the St Mary’s Senior Debating team competed in the second round of the National debating competition, organised by the English Speaking Union. Our team, Anna and Jemima in LVI, had to propose the motion that 'This House would ban doctors from striking' and they were complimented on their well-structured and well-paced performance. They opposed a team from Bristol Grammar School.

The second debate was between Millfield School and Kingswood School. Under the rules of the ESU we were able to ask questions in this debate, which the supporting students from LVI and LV did ably. The topic was an interesting one, which linked with the studies of the LVI studying Government and Politics but gripped the others nonetheless: 'This House supports the use of all-women shortlists to redress the Parliamentary gender imbalance.'

We hosted this round, which allowed us to have a student chair and timekeeper, admirably done by Farida and Amber in LVI. Whilst Jemima and Anna did very well, unfortunately they did not proceed to the next round.

The experience has been invaluable in developing the skills of all those in the Debating Society and we look forward to entering more competitions in the future.

Mrs Samantha Handy, Head of History, Government and Politics