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TGS debaters secure places in both Oxford University and Cambridge University National Finals

Congratulations to TGS debaters whose success in the South East Finals of the Cambridge and Oxford University Debating Competitions has secured them places in both National Finals.  

Read competition reports below: 

Cambridge University Debating Competition

After a rigorous selection process, TGS sent four teams to the online event, which was originally scheduled to take place at Maidstone Grammar School. The competition was held in the British Parliamentary format, where teams of two speakers debate motions with just 15 minutes of preparation time for 5-minute speeches. Each debate has four teams; two arguing in proposition of the motion and two arguing against.

The first round saw Holly and Ellen (Year 12) make a compelling case for the use of social media by politicians as a means to engage with young people. Their convincing arguments, along with those of two other TGS teams, earned first place in their debates.

In the second round, Saraf and Bella (Year 13) delivered impassioned speeches against the harmful effects of the "self-reliance narrative" on minority groups and the importance of addressing structural inequalities. Again, TGS dominated, with two teams taking first place in their rooms.

In the third round, TGS became a victim of its own success. As the rounds went on, teams were debating against others on the same number of “points”; as TGS had taken exclusively 1sts and 2nds up to this point, the top room contained 3 TGS teams facing each other on the motion “This house believes that governments should pay homemakers for household chores”.

Despite the intense competition, TGS continued to shine, with Trijagati and Nia (Year 11) taking first place and Bella and Saraf securing second in the final round, "Media should be banned from publishing graphic depictions of terrorist attacks”.

As the winning teams were announced, Bella and Saraf (Year 13), Trija and Nia and Hasini and Hana (Year 11) were announced as three of the teams who would progress through to the final in Cambridge on the 18 March. No other school in attendance achieved so many teams going through to the final. Trija and Nia were also announced as the joint third best speakers of the day. 

I love how debating makes me think in a completely different way to anything else and working together with other people is great fun. The competition so far has been an amazing opportunity to learn about different debating styles and explore a variety of topical issues. For the national finals, I am excited to improve my skills by competing with even tougher motions and even better teams. 

Trija, Year 11

I enjoy the challenge of debating different sides of an issue and putting together nuanced arguments. What has interested me most about the competition so far has been addressing a wide range of topics that I wouldn’t otherwise think about. For the national final, I’m really looking forward to going to Cambridge with my partner and the other TGS teams, and seeing how we fare against many different schools.


Oxford University Debating Competition

TGS is celebrating its success in the Oxford University Debating Competition South East Regional round, having secured two out of the five coveted spots to go through to the national final. The TGS teams, comprising Holly and Ellen (Y12), as well as Saraf and Bella (Y13), demonstrated their exceptional talent in the regional round, cementing their reputation as fierce debaters. 

The South East regional round, organised by the University of Oxford, saw teams from across the South East come together to showcase their debating skills. The TGS teams impressed the judges with their clear and concise arguments, excellent rebuttals, and impressive delivery, making it difficult for the opposing teams to challenge their points. 

The first motion of the competition was "This house believes that education charities should prioritize giving resources to students who display a greater potential to succeed." The TGS teams argued persuasively, highlighting the importance of investing in students with high potential to make the greatest impact in the future. They used relevant statistics and case studies to support their arguments, and their convincing delivery won them the round. 

In the second motion, "This House Would create and enforce filial responsibility laws," the TGS teams put forward a strong case for the introduction of laws that would require adult children to care for their aging parents. They argued that such laws would encourage greater responsibility and support for the elderly, leading to improved social cohesion and reducing the burden on the state. The judges were impressed by their well-constructed arguments and forceful delivery, which secured their place in the national final.   

The TGS teams have been working tirelessly in preparation for the competition, and their dedication has paid off. They have now been invited to represent the South East at Oxford in March.   

The national final promises to be an exciting event, and we wish the TGS teams the very best of luck. We are confident that they will continue to impress with their insightful arguments, quick thinking, and eloquent delivery.

Tagged  Debating Society