A Report by Mr A Thompson, Head of History and Government & Politics

On the afternoon of Monday 14th March, I was privileged to take a group of Year 12 Politics students to attend the inaugural Watford Schools debating competition in Watford Town Hall. We were hosted by Chairman of Watford Council, Bilqees Mauthoor, and Watford Mayor Peter Taylor was one of the debate judges.

It was wonderful to be at the heart of local government, especially as the competition took place in the main chamber where council meetings take place.

The students took part in a series of debates against opponents from Watford Boys. The topics of the debates included abolishing student loans, censoring advertising,holding social media companies responsible for the content of their users and embracing crypto-currency.

These were fascinating to watch, with the students articulating their arguments in a convincing and sophisticated manner. The judges commented on the exceptionally high level of debating skills on display from competitors and some feisty questioners from the audience

With two wins a piece from these debates, the highest scoring pair of students from each school took on each other in the grand final. From WGGS, Evie 12C and Zainab 12D took on the role of the proposition in the cheeky motion ‘This house believes that Watford Borough Council should be abolished’.

I am delighted to report that they triumphed over the opposition, being crowned the inaugural winners of the Watford Schools debating competition. While they both demonstrated supreme debating talent, my favourite moment was when Zainab interrogated Mayor Peter Taylor on his salary and how this could be putto better use in helping Watford and its community!

Well done to all of our students who took part in the debate. As an added bonus,all the students were given a commemorative mug for the 100th anniversary of Watford Council and a slice of Mauritian cake to celebrate the nation’s 52nd year of independence. We are hoping it will become an annual debate for our Politics students, so any Year 11s who are interested watch this space for next year!