NI Schools’ Debating Competition
The St. Louis debating team were sadly defeated in the semi-final stages of the NI Schools’ Debating Competition 2017. On Tuesday the team came up against Belfast Royal Academy, opposing the motion that our liberal elites have lost legitimacy by ignoring the fears and aspirations of ordinary people. Both teams performed extremely well, questioning issues such as the rise of populism, class divides and the philosophy of the political spectrum. Although Belfast Royal Academy was named the better team, Anna McLaughlin was selected to represent St Louis in the individual speaker category at the final in April. It has been a great year for debate in St Louis with our team getting the furthest in the competition in the school’s history and being one of only four schools from across Northern Ireland to reach the semi-final stages. By researching for motions the team have become more in tune with current affairs and very topical issues which they might not have had an interest in or known about previously. Speaking in front of a crowd has developed their confidence and preparing speeches has meant their communication skills and ability to write fluently has improved, which is a great transferrable skill especially for A-Level students. It goes without saying that debate is a lot of fun and a great extra-curricular activity for making friends and building rapport with pupils from our own school and the schools we compete against. The Debating Society looks forward to next year’s competitions.