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Workshop tips prepare students for debate competition

Students were given expert advice on debating when they attended a workshop run by the Oxford Union.

The young people received tips on how to formulate an argument in a short space of time by Oxford law student Sophie Corke.

The workshop was held at Havering Sixth Form College in preparation for the Oxford Union Schools Debate Competition in January, and involved College students as well as young people from St Paul’s Way School in Tower Hamlets.

Workshop tips prepare students for debate competition | December 2015

The debate competition is organised nationally each year, with regional rounds taking place before the finals day in March. Havering Sixth Form has entered 2 teams from the Debate Club that runs in College on a weekly basis.

Tutor Claire Springall, who runs the College’s Debate Club, said: “The style of debating practised at the workshop is known as 'short prep' which means the debaters are only told the 'motion' or topic 15 minutes before the debate. It is therefore very challenging.”

An Oxford Union representative said: “Our aim is to make debating accessible to as many schools and colleges as possible, whilst maintaining the prestige and competitiveness of the title. We invite over a thousand schools to participate every year and last year had over 350 schools competing.

“The competition offers students an excellent chance to develop their skills and confidence in public speaking, thoughtful argumentation and analytical problem solving.”