15 Feb An evening of debate at Bablake Senior School
Written by Lola and Eve – Year 7 student reporters
On the 26th of January 2018, seven eager Whitley Academy students, divided into two teams, were about to change the mindset of the public, in a debate held at Bablake Senior school. This debate was put together by the Coventry Rotary Youth Speaks.
Those students were:
THE RED TEAM: with Lola – the remarkable Chairperson, Ava – the tremendous Proposer of the Vote of Thanks, Rosie – the brilliant backup and Eve – the talented Speaker. The topic they were addressing was ‘Mental Health’.
THE BLUE TEAM: with Jack – Chairperson, Lucy – the clever Speaker, and Holly – the lovely Proposer of the Vote of Thanks, – our amazing debaters of Year 8. Their topic was ‘Why Shouldn’t Animals be Kept in Zoos?’
Supporting us on the day was our thoughtful parents, and Mrs Nguyen. In the theatre, most seats were occupied with students and their family members. The diverse list of topics up for debate included:
Mental Health: the Illness Inside
Has Technology Transformed the Social Skills in Humanity?
Does Technology Benefit or Hinder Education?
Why Shouldn’t Animals Be Kept in Zoos?
The night started off with the debaters sitting in the corner shying away from the spotlight, practising their speeches so they could give the audience their best performance. There was tough competition, as all the groups were doing very well, and the Whitley Academy Red Team were some of the youngest pupils at the debate. Time flew by and suddenly it was our Red Team’s turn.
Eve, Ava and Lola lined up to the left-hand side of the theatre and professionally walked to their debating desks. Rosie stayed in the audience and hoped the performance would run smoothly. Lola confidently delivered her speech with the timing just right. Eve went next, her heart beating out of her chest; however, that did not stop her from making this the best speech of the night. Ava summarised some key points from Eve’s speech about ‘Mental Health – the Illness Inside’ and thanked everyone in the theatre. We received a massive round of applause. It was then time for the photos to be taken.
Amidst the mixed emotion of relief (that we finished our round) and satisfaction (for doing our best in the debate), we merged ourselves back in the audience seats, wondering how the outcome would be.
As you read earlier, there was not just one Whitley Academy team. Representing the school was also the Whitley Academy Blue Team. Lucy spoke passionately about why animals should not be kept in zoos. The whole theatre was silent to listen to Lucy’s talk, which included some shocking statistics about animals being kept in confined environments. The whole Blue Team spoke very well and kept their spirits high.
Time to hear the results.
The winning team was the Bablake School Red Team, in which the Speaker talked about her experience she had with the Air Ambulance. It was April last year, and she got stuck in a near-death accident. Her encounter with the Air Ambulance was truly moving.
But it was not all a loss, as our very own Eve won the award for THE BEST SPEAKER of the whole debate, which she could not have done without the help of her teammates. All the work they had done had payed off. We all were so proud of the achievement. The night was a night like no other; and for us, we will remember it.
Another high point was the Year 7 girls were approached by Dr. Sarah Raistrick, the GP from Willenhall Primary Care Centre. Dr. Raistrick was very impressed with their speech about Mental Health.
We all could not have done this without the help of our teacher Mrs Nguyen. She is a truly dedicated teacher and will do anything to help her students be the best they can be. A true tale of teamwork. Thank you for reading our blog.