Four Debaters from RGS Worcester had a successful online practice run on Saturday 25 April in preparation for the ICYD Finals Weekend.
Tobey Butler and Rayyan Styles, both Year Ten, and Callum Lockett and Oscar Haynes, both Year Nine, joined schools from many countries using the Oxford Union’s system, to debate the merits or otherwise of automation in the modern world. Our students were happy with how the technology operated and in their ‘room’ they were up against a team from Canada and Sheffield High School for Girls. Callum and Oscar won, and Rayyan and Tobey came second.
The Finals took place remotely over this last weekend. Callum, Oscar, Rayyan and Tobey were up against a small number of UK teams but also, across the three rounds, teams from Hungary, Canada, Shanghai, Greece and Ireland. In fact, of the eight finalists from the original 60 teams taking part, most of them were international, i.e. two from Australia, one from Shanghai, Canada and Malaysia. This gives you an indicator of the calibre of the competition! It was also incredible as the judges gave our students feedback after each debate and they were in all different parts of the world as well while they were doing this. The motions too were international in scope and very challenging for this age-group with competitors using worldwide not UK examples, e.g. for This House would require all elected politicians and their immediate families to live on the average income and only use state services.
Well done to the boys in taking part in this unique experience and enjoying the challenges remote debating brought to them.