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On Tuesday 30 September St John’s hosted the Surrey qualifying round of the national Debating Matters competition.
Four schools took part in the competition, with the winners qualifying for the South East regional final, set to take place in early 2016. Debating Matters offers the chance for pupils to engage with contemporary issues outside of the formal setting of the classroom and consider wider views.
James Hughes (Lower Sixth, Churchill) and Imogen Tonnesen (Lower Sixth, Haslewood) faced tough opposition in the first round against an articulate Guildford team who proposed the motion. After a commendable debate with a tough round of questions from both the audience and judges, St John’s came out the winner and qualified for the evening’s final.
In the final, Angus King and Sam Thornton stepped up to represent the School, and proposed the motion against Reigate College for the opposition. Both sides delivered eloquent and polished opening speeches and dealt well with the probing questions that were thrown their way. It was an incredibly close debate and whilst the audience vote went to St John’s, the judges gave the decision to Reigate – who, as the School’s team agreed, were deserving winners.
It was an excellent event and St John’s pupils didn’t go home empty handed, with James Hughes winning the award for best speaker.
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