Yesterday, students at Yarnton Manor participated in the first of the ORA Summer Great Debates, with some fiery discussions and interesting points of view.
After a short brief about the concept and structure of an Oxford Royale Academy Debate, students were given the title “This house believes that we should not follow social norms or linear trajectory”. The debate was chaired by our guest speaker, Jessica Steinberg who is currently studying a DPhil in Socio-Legal Studies at the university of Oxford. There were of course two teams; opposition and proposition, split equally among the students, who discussed and debated passionately about this challenging topic.
Aiko Tan from Singapore was first to kick-off the debate, opening for the proposition, while Latvian Paula Abola spoke for the opposition first. Also speaking for the proposition was Danae Salinas, and speaking for the opposition was Aubrey Earnest- both from America. Both sides had support from their respective teams, who had diligently prepared both sides of the argument in order to be prepared for whatever the opposite side may throw at them.
There were some interesting comments and challenging questions posed throughout the debate, particularly by Kelly Cao, from Hong Kong, pointing out that “feeling safe means not going out your comfort zone“. The students were certainly left with food for thought, even after the debate!
Since each team had half of the student intake, no final vote was taken in the end, but the debate was rounded off with a successful debrief from Jessica. The final concluding remarks for the proposition and for the opposition were delivered by Shrila Kanth and Sukkriti Nath respectively, both of whom are from India.
With the variety of nationalities, cultures and experiences among the students at Yarnton this session, it was great to see so many different, insightful and unique opinions being shared, and intellectually stimulating questions raised. The Great Debate was a fantastic way for the students to put some of their academic skills into practise, also.
The lively debate has certainly energised and set up the students for their talent show tonight, they are raring to go and practising their performance. Stay tuned for the updates!