Youth speaks - Hurstpierpoint College

Youth speaks

Before half-term the Hurst debating team won the first round of the 2020 Rotary Youth Speaks Debating Competition and progressed to the semi-finals, when they also performed well.

In the regional round, members of the team – Rosie, Aurelia and Emma – spoke very persuasively for and against the motion This House believes that Kindles are better than books. Emma made thoughtful and empathetic points for the accessibility and learning benefits to be found using Kindles, whilst Aurelia was passionate in her defence of books and the emotional connection they allow. Rosie, as Chair, spoke confidently about her own personal experience with Kindles and books, whilst speaking on both sides of the motion, fielding questions from the judges, and rounding off the speeches by all three of them. The judges were very impressed by the team and said they excelled in all areas of the judging criteria and had not dropped a mark.

Having won the regional round, the team progressed to the semi-finals and again spoke in front of a huge audience of schools from across the South East. Here they spoke with an assurance and fluidity one would usually expect from more mature and experienced speakers. Despite their excellence and high scores in the team event, they did not progress any further. In the individual event, Rosie was awarded Best Speaker in the Role of Chair.

The team are key members of HurstSpeak, the college’s debating society, and take part in the weekly lunchtime activities and events throughout the year. They fully endorse the motto of the society saying that learning to debate and attending HurstSpeak really does allow you to 'Get Yourself Heard' Sarah Watson-Saunders, Head of Debating