Sunday began overcast, but with a definite buzz of excitement in the air! The day of the Great Debate had dawned at last and everyone was looking forward to hearing the debate team’s excellent speeches.
Registration was running a little later than usual, which meant the students could have a well-earned lie-in before the day really kicked off. After breakfast, the debate team gathered together to make any final changes to their speeches before the afternoon. Meanwhile some of our other students made the most of the free morning and walked into the city centre to do some shopping.
Everyone headed back to Catz for lunch together before heading to the location of the Great Debate: The Sheldonian Theatre. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the theatre is certainly a grand location, but that didn’t put our students off. There was an air of quiet confidence surrounding everyone as they took their seats.
Since the debate motion was “this house believes the robots are taking our jobs”, ex-presenter of The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury, was a great choice for a guest speaker. His opening speech on AI and ‘the 1000 year decade’ was fascinating and did a great job of setting the stage for the first speaker.
Speaking for any length of time in a second language can be challenging, particularly when it’s on such an intellectual topic, but our students all spoke incredibly passionately and persuasively. It was a very proud moment for the staff and everyone thoroughly deserved their enthusiastic applause!
The evening was a very relaxed affair, with most students choosing to spend it outside playing sports and letting off steam after their intense day.