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Alsop High School was proud to host the first round of the Debate Mate Urban Debate League on Tuesday 6th February, welcoming visiting teams from North Liverpool Academy, Childwall SSA, Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy and Fazakerley High School to compete in a series of debates judged by Debate Mate mentors.
Alsop students from Years 7 to 9, many of whom were competing for the first time, were given 15 minutes to prepare their arguments either ‘for’ or ‘against’ a previously-unseen motion, and then had to debate the motion with an opposing team from a visiting school. After winning their first debate, the Alsop team narrowly lost by a point to Fazakerley in the second debate of the evening, and now look forward to competing again in the second round in March. The top eight schools nationally will then go on to compete in the final round at the House of Lords in London.
This is Alsop’s fourth year enrolled with Debate Mate, an organisation that run after-school enrichment clubs designed to help students develop their communication skills and confidence in public speaking, as well as higher order thinking and teamwork skills. The Urban Debate League, a national league of participating schools, is one of many inter-school competitions run by Debate Mate. Two years ago, Alsop was placed top out of all competing Liverpool schools, and we look forward to continuing our success this year.
Alsop has had many proud achievements with the Debate Mate programme in recent years. In the Debate Mate Cup, a one-day competition at Liverpool Hope University, the Alsop team reached the final and finished runners up. In partnership with School Improvement Liverpool, the school has also hosted the annual Big Sixth Form Debate for three consecutive years, the most recent of which saw Alsop Sixth Formers reach the final and finish runners up against teams from other Sixth Forms in the area.
Outside of the Debate Mate external programme, the club is handed over to the students themselves who take responsibility for running, promoting and maintaining the school debate team. For the last four years our debate team have excelled in putting on show debates for prospective students and their parents which are a regular highlight of open evenings.
In addition to their success in the programme, students have noticeably developed their skills in all aspects of formal debating, including researching, formulating and structuring an argument, points of information, rebuttals and using a formal vocabulary to a high standard, as well as confidence in public rhetoric. These are all vital cross-curricular skills which have augmented the academic success of these students and which will address the transition between GCSE and A-Level.