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Rotary Club Peace Debate

Published on 09/11/23

Dr Walton-Jordan (Trip Leader) and Mr Welch tell us more about the Rotary Club Peace Debate:

On Monday 2 October, a debating team of six Stephen Perse students took part in the annual Peace Debate, organised by the Rotary Club of Cambridge South. This is an exciting event, bringing together local schools and following the English-Speaking Union Debating Rules. This year, ‘Create hope in the World’ is the Rotary International theme, in addition to the permanent ‘Service above self’ Rotary motto.   

We started the evening off as the proposition for the motion: 1: This house believes that the use of social media will become the major source of discontent and conflict in society. (Stephen Perse to propose and Chesterton Village College to oppose.)

Our team consisted of Nico K (Year 11) as the First Speaker, Robert Y (Year 12) as the Second Speaker and Philos C (Year 12) as the Summary Speaker, ably and actively supported by our speakers from the floor of the audience: Andre L, Andrew L and Michael Y (all Year 12).

Much of the debate served to create a deeper understanding of the balance of advantages and dangers of social media use, and the whole assembly of six schools' delegations and their teachers benefited from it. What also stood out was the respectful acknowledgment our team gave to their opposing side.

For interest, the other two motions were:

2: This house believes that the search for absolute power by an individual, rather than inequality in the distribution of resource, will lead to the next world war. (The Leys to propose and Kings Ely to oppose).

3: This house believes that it will be the power of the previously silent majority that will eventually rid schools of the scourge of bullying. (The Perse School to propose and Impington International College to oppose).

The Leys School was the overall winner of the debate but all participants acquitted themselves very well indeed.

The President of the Cambridge South Rotary Club commented after the debates:

"I feel that the students certainly offered me hope last evening!" and went on to say:

"I think the standard of debate last evening was superb. Also the supporters were super too with their statements from the floor. I do hope that your students feel justifiably very proud of their research and performance. Congratulations to each of them and to you."

All that remains is to add our congratulations to the team as teachers on their confident, well-researched, respectful and thoughtful performance!