After a hard-won victory at last year’s competition, John Taylor’s debating team returned to the Lichfield Guildhall to defend its title at the Michael Fabricant MP public speaking competition at the Lichfield Guildhall. After several weeks preparing to argue against the motion “This house believes that unlimited immigration benefits the UK”, the team faced tough competition from Chase Terrace Technology College, Erasmus Darwin Academy, King Edward VI School and Lichfield Cathedral School.
The anticipation built as the teams had some last refreshments before the speeches began. Taking inspiration from the House of Commons, the competition was presented as a political debate, with an audience being banned from clapping and were instead encouraged to cheer and wave their programs enthusiastically throughout. The John Taylor team was pleased with its performance and hopeful for a victory, with proposer Dan Ruttley saying “The standard of the competition was really high this year: the other teams were really polished and professional. We had a real fight on our hands to keep our silverware!”
The judges took some time to reach a decision, but ultimately it was John Taylor’s carefully-crafted arguments, strong teamwork and confident presentation that impressed them, making this a second consecutive win for the team. English teacher Ms Hayes, who helped the team prepare for the debate, said:
“I’m very proud of the students. Two years in a row! The pressure is on for the hat-trick!”
Debate club meets every Wednesday lunchtime (1:15pm-1:55pm) in E2 to discuss topical issues such as the sugar tax, the EU referendum and social media. Students of all ages are welcome to attend, whether they want to take part in debates, chair discussions or just ask questions.