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Bloxham Take to the Floor in Debating Weekend

Last weekend, a group of students from Third Form, Fourth Form and the Upper Sixth travelled to Tudor Hall to represent Bloxham, and their chosen country, Kazakhstan, in a Model United Nations.

The event was attended by schools both local and from as far afield as Manchester, representing more than fifteen countries. Despite having little previous experience, the Bloxham students entered into the spirit of the event with enthusiasm, forming alliances with other countries, proposing resolutions and amendments, and speaking in debates in committees such as disarmament, the environment and human rights. This earned the students a clutch of awards, including Best Delegate in the Human Rights Committee, and a team award for Commended Delegation overall.  

As well as the debates, we heard addresses from Sir Roger Scruton and Lt Col Robert Lindsay and attended a social for delegates on Saturday night. The event culminated with a meeting of the General Assembly on Sunday afternoon in which students debated whether to save five major cities from terrorist attack, or to sacrifice five world leaders, including the presidents of Russia and the USA.The Bloxham students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to make new friends and develop a range of skills, including public speaking and debating, networking and teamwork. 

This follows the Cherwell Democracy Challenge Debating Competition last Friday in which two teams of Sixth Form students participated in the Cherwell Democracy Challenge Debating Competition at Cherwell District Council Offices in Bodicote, competing against other local schools. The event was hosted by Victoria Prentis MP, and judged by representatives of local councils, the police force and journalism. Despite not knowing whether they would be speaking for or against the motions until a few minutes before the debates, the Bloxham students performed confidently, presenting arguments for and against motions concerning social media abuse of politicians, and the role of private providers in the NHS and gaining high scores for style. Sadly, neither team made the final debate on tuition fees, but they were able to participate in a wide-ranging Question Time style discussion with the judges, including a detailed discussion on potholes. Our students were given some excellent feedback, and were commended for “beautiful use of language”, excellent points of order, using evidence and good body language, as well as the “phrase of the debate”, “People not money”.

A huge thank you to Clare Summers for her work in organising and supporting both events, and for providing this report.