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Stamford Hosts Inter-Schools Debating Shield

Year 10 and 11 students from both Stamford School and Stamford High School enjoyed an afternoon of thought-provoking debate last week as they watched teams from Stamford, Oakham, Oundle and Uppingham vie for the Oswald Elliott Debating Shield. The Oswald Elliott Debating Shield was inaugurated last year to provide a competitive forum for younger debaters from local schools.

The first rounds were fast and furious, with an outstanding performance from SES Year 11 debaters Barnaby Shand and Hugh Dalrymple in their debate against Uppingham on the motion “This House would welcome robots into our homes”. A second first-round debate was dominated by Oundle in their clash with Oakham on the topic of home-schooling.

After a break for refreshments, the judges announced a final between Stamford and Oundle: “This House would ban social media for Under 16s”. Stamford was represented in the final by two up and coming debaters in Year 9, Kitty Henderson and Imogen Dee, but again Oundle dominated their debate and were awarded the Oswald Elliott Shield for the second time.

Judging the debate were Janet Meenaghan, Principal of New College, Stamford and Patrick Nutton, a second-year history undergraduate at Cambridge who is also President of the Fitzwilliam College Debating Society. Patrick has been closely involved with the organisation of the annual Oswald Elliott Cup debate between Stamford and Fitzwilliam College and was generous in his advice and feedback to the debaters.

Karen Leetch, who organised the event, commented: “I’d like to thank our teams and the visiting teams and coaches for all their hard work in preparation for the debates, my colleagues Sarah Davies and David Gloucester for their help and ideas and the judges for giving up their time so willingly for an afternoon of school debating”.