Oxford Schools Debating

Pictured above are, left to right: Caitlin Young (5th year), Kurt Scott (5th year), Megan Punzet (5th year).

The debating team at the Institute have had several successes in the last month. Kurt Scott (5th year) and Caitlin Young (5th year) will be flying to Oxford University in March to compete in the Oxford Schools debating competition.

Run by the Oxford Union, this is the biggest school debating competition in the UK and it will see some of the most skilled debaters from around the British Isles assemble for one of senior cycle debating’s most prestigious prizes.

The debate format will involve short preparation times and so the students are hard at work this month refining their knowledge of world events and analysing previous winning speeches. There will be more updates on their Oxford excursion in March.

Kurt is also in the running to take part in the Worlds School Debating Championships that will be held in Zagreb this year. Having progressed from the Leinster trials, he will compete for a place on Team Ireland. This team will compete against students from over 60 countries in an event that spans a week. The Irish National trials will take place at the start of November.

We’ve also had success in the Leinster Schools Debating Competition. Fuad Kehinde (5th year), Megan Punzet (5th year), Rachel Furlong (5th year), Alannah Kirkham (5th year), Aisling O’Reilly (4th year) and Sarah Poynton (4th year) all competed in the quarter finals with Fuad and Megan progressing to the semi-finals next week. They will have to debate the relative worth of keeping Turkey in NATO, a topic that not many young people have had to consider. This is a great example of how debating not only fosters confidence and public speaking but also broadens the knowledge of those who compete.

We wish Caitlin, Kurt, Fuad and Megan the best of luck in their upcoming competitions.

Debating takes place every Friday at 2.30pm in room G-3 and all 4th, 5th and 6th year students in our full time senior school are welcome to attend.