MP for North Swindon

Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Joins Even Swindon School For Inaugural Debating Competition


North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has visited Even Swindon Primary School to support their debating competition. 

Justin regularly visits schools across the constituency, meeting with with students & teachers and hearing their ideas which he feeds back in to Ministers.

On the visit, Justin was joined by Christopher Watson - a student who taking part in work experience - who has written his review of the debating competition.

On Thursday evening Justin Tomlinson attended a debating competition at Even Swindon Primary School, where he had been asked to judge the pupils on their talents of argument and discussion. 

It was undoubtedly a significant moment for the pupils as this was the inaugural competition for the school’s debating society and the hall was filled with family members and fellow pupils. The structure of the debate was rather sophisticated; with a chair, two speakers and a cross examiner in each team. There were eight teams in total arguing a number of motions ranging from the issues surrounding zoos to a call for a ban on violent video games.

Head Teacher, Mrs Lowe, introduced the competition to the hall, thanked everyone for attending and wished the pupils luck when conducting their debates.

Justin was impressed by all the children that took part in the competition, and thought many of the pupils would be make brilliant members of the Government in the future. When judging the teams Justin was looking for specific qualities. These included: self-confidence and articulation from the pupils forwarding the motion, a clear summary, good debate management from the chairs, and thoughtful &interesting questions from the cross examiner. It was particularly impressive that the pupils were able to respond to questions from the audience which they may not have thought about before and their natural ability at public speaking was something to be envied.

It was very difficult to judge the teams, as all were remarkable in different ways. The final result was a three-way split and Justin had to bring in expertise from Mrs Clayton and Mrs Alexander who run the debating society to break the deadlock. In the end a winner was announced. Meisha and Mia passionately argued against the cruelty of zoos and illustrated the need for a better method of conserving wildlife. This team also had an excellent chair who spoke clearly, confidently and managed the debate very well and the cross examiner asked challenging and thoughtful questions of the other team.

The two runners up also argued well for their motions, and all the pupils involved can be proud of how they performed. Debating is an important skill to learn and it is a testament to Even Swindon Primary School that they have teachers such as Mrs Clayton and Mrs Alexander who are willing to run a debating society and equally encouraging that so many pupils are engaged and enthusiastic enough to take part in schemes like this.

Justin is looking forward to their next debating competition and is sure that Even Swindon would represent themselves superbly at any inter-school contest.

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