On Saturday 9 March, two lower sixth students – Alice and Eanna (pictured below with our other current Sixth Form debaters, Julia and Anna-Maria) – became the first d’Overbroeck’s students ever to reach Finals’ Day in the Oxford Schools Debating competition. This was held at the auspicious surroundings of the Oxford Union, and Finals’ Day involved 116 teams from places as far away as China, Canada and Zimbabwe.
In this ‘British Parliamentary’ style competition, the debating motions (see below) are given to the teams 15 minutes before the debate. Each debate comprises four teams, made up of two pairs, and each participant gives five-minute speeches. Given the high level of training and quality evident across all the speeches, it was clear that it was an amazing achievement to even get to this round, but Alice and Eanna held their own in two very closely fought debates in the morning. In the afternoon, it was time for another d’Overbroeck’s first: Alice and Eanna won their 3rd debate of the day, making them the first d’Overbroeck’s team to win a debate at Oxford Schools’ Finals Day!
In the end, they were placed 83rd out of 116 teams – an amazing achievement on debut. They certainly did themselves proud, and came away with some great tips and feedback from judges which will help them as they lead d’Overbroeck’s Debating into another exciting year in 2019-2020. Well done, Alice and Eanna – a hugely impressive performance.
2019 Finals’ Day Motions:
- This House Would legalise the sale and purchase of human organs.
- This House Would ban those who have engaged in terrorism from standing for political positions.
- This House Believes That the feminist movement should reject the glorification of motherhood.
- This House Believes That former colonial powers (eg Britain, Spain) should significantly increase immigration quotas for countries that they previously colonised
Pictured above: Alice & Eanna with teacher Rob Pollard, feeling not-at-all overwhelmed by the Oxford Union’s prestigious history.