Debating Skills Helping Independent School Pupils to Get Ahead and Stay There

A competitive debate is a challenging and highly rewarding activity for those who become involved in it. Ellesmere College pupils have the opportunity to join the Debating Society where they are encouraged to develop presentation skills and the ability to construct logical arguments. 

Many of this nation’s top lawyers, business executives, doctors, engineers, and elected leaders were involved in school debate, and for good reason. Debating skills help pupils get ahead and stay there. The power to persuade is highly respected and there is no better way to master this art than through debate. Old Ellesmerian Ross Jobber, CEO for Citibank, highlighted the importance of such activities in a recent presentation to Sixth Form students, where he emphasised the skills he learnt from the College Debating Society and how being able to prepare a case, think critically and present his thoughts has helped him throughout his career. 

Pupils at Ellesmere College are provided these opportunities as part of the School’s Gifted and Talented programme which aims to enhance their educational development. The Debating Society develops pupil’s research and analytic skills, from traditional library research to the Internet. Debating in an independent school teaches pupils to become world-class researchers with the ability to critically explore a problem and propose workable solutions. 

Most people naturally avoid public speaking, it is still our number one fear, but debating provides a non-threatening environment to practice these skills so that down the road when you’re called on to speak in University or as part of a job, you’ll have the skills necessary to do a great presentation. Listening and note taking are also part of debating and such an environment teaches pupils to become careful listeners and good note takers.

Dale Crawford who leads the Society said “The vast majority of pupils who compete in debating tournaments each year will tell you that it’s great fun. For every person, the experience is a little different, but generally the thrill of competition, the camaraderie of teammates, makes debating really enjoyable and the skills that they learn really do make a difference when heading off to University and the world of work”.

Debating at Ellesmere College isn’t just restricted to House competitions; pupils take their experiences over to Europe for the Model United Nations Conference where debaters compete alongside students from top institutions around the world. Last year three lucky UN enthusiasts took a trip to the United Nations in New York. The Ellesmere team were the gold winning school at ‘Uniting the Nations’, UN schools tournament.

Ellesmere College broad curriculum develops the whole person with a ‘tailor made’ education that responds to their individuality, whilst providing academic rigour for our more able students through our Academic Enrichment programme. The Debating Society adds a crucial element to each individual’s development.