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Literacy > Year 8 & 9 Debating Assemblies

Debating Assemblies

Year 8

As Year 8 ambassadors, we set up a debate for and against Show My Homework. We planned and chose the topic after reviewing the main concern brought up in forms, when we do form visits. We then split into two teams, nominated captains, and then started planning.

The “for team” started by interviewing SLT members and students, basing speeches around their results. Whereas the “against team” reviewed their key points and planned to interview teachers from the main three subjects (Maths, Science and English). Eventually, both teams were ready and prepared for the Thursday assembly.

The teams presented their points in the space of 4 minutes for each team. After that part was finished, we allowed questions from the audience. Many questions arose from SLT members, students and teachers.
Overall we thought it would be an enjoyable experience for Year 8 to watch but at the same time it would get a valid point across to the teachers about what could be done to Improve Show My Homework and make it work for students.  The main points were portrayed well in the assembly and it seemed to have an impact on teachers as well as the students themselves.

The debate was a success and we worked closely with teachers to prepare the assembly. We feel this has brought teachers and students closer by highlighting and making clear the concerns of pupils.


Poppy Twiss and Sam Sayed, Year 8 Ambassadors.

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Year 9 

As a Year 9 school ambassador, myself and the rest of the ambassadors joined with the Year 8 ambassadors to construct a debate which was to be performed in our years’ assembly. Our chosen topic for our debate was the new Key Stage 3 assessment system, Assessment without Levels. We chose this topic due to the confusion it had caused both years and because we found the majority of the ambassadors had a strong opinion towards the topic, so it would help when forming a ‘for’ and ‘against’ side. The two councils met up at frequent lunch times to discuss teams, captains, hosts and planning.

Getting closer to the debating date, each team went off to discuss tactics, speeches and presentations. The ‘against’ team started by interviewing SLT member, Mrs Wheelock, and asking her views on this topic which they could later bring up in the upcoming debate. Whereas the ‘for’ team was interviewing various teachers, asking them for their views which they too could later incorporate in the future debate.  After weeks of planning and preparation, we finally got the confirmation from both teams that they were ready to debate.

First, we performed the debate for Year 9, sticking to the layout we had planned in the meetings. First the host announced what we were going to do and why we are doing it. Next, we allowed each team to have four minutes presenting their speeches and explaining their points. Then, we opened the debate up between the two sides so they could share their views on the other team’s points and reply to questions or queries they may have had. Finally, we opened the debate up to the whole year group and SLT. We then mirrored this in the Year 8’s assembly.

As we found that this debate was a major success for both teachers, students and the ambassadors, the two year councils have joined again to construct another debate. We will try to keep it as similar to the last debate as possible apart from the topic. This time the two year councils have concluded to have the topic of debate about the new law in France stating that students will now be allowed to smoke within school premises.  We chose this topic because we thought it would be a very interesting and thought provoking issue. Let’s hope this debate will be just as successful as our previous one!


Imogen Calderbank, Year 9.