On Friday 2 February, not one but two debating teams from RGS Worcester qualified for the Finals of one of the most prestigious schools debating competitions in the UK: The Oxford University Schools competition.
In the Midlands Regional round in Birmingham, over 52 debating pairs were fighting for only 8 places on Finals Day at the Oxford Union in March. With teams from schools from as far afield as Solihull School, Repton, Bromsgrove and Hereford Cathedral School, the pairs from RGS Worcester knew that this was going to be a challenge. However, the prize was exciting: a day at the Oxford Union debating against not only the best schools from Britain, but also from Ireland, Canada, India and Europe.
Across the evening, each pair took part in two debates: ‘This house would ban private schools’ and ‘This house would legalise all drugs’. The judges were a long time reaching their decision but by 9.00pm, they had made their choices. RGS Worcester was the only school in the region to have two pairs qualify. Upper Sixth pupils, Holly Chance and Heloise Messervy-Whiting, last year’s Novice finalists at Nottingham Schools, and Ellie Carey and Ruby Potts, Open finalists at Cardiff in 2016, had made it through to Finals Day. This is a superb achievement by the Senior Debating Society.
Next weekend, the debaters are in action again, across two competitions, with four pairs vying for a place in the Cambridge Schools Finals while other pairs compete at Nottingham Schools. Lower Sixth pupil, Amber Warner-Warr, who will be debating with her partner, Felix Haynes, at Cambridge Schools, spent last Saturday preparing by judging the King’s College London Schools competition. For a school-age student to be taking part as a judge with University students at a Schools competition is a huge accomplishment. Moreover, Amber was chosen to judge in the finals, indicating that she was seen as one of the best judges that day. Well done to all debaters – we look forward with anticipation to this weekend and to Oxford Schools Finals Day after half term.