At the end of the Lent Term, Cowdrey House and School House went head-to-head in the much-anticipated final of this year's Senior House Debating Competition.
Cowdrey was represented throughout the competition by George Rook (CH4), Ben Gardner (CH5) and Tom Gardner (CH3). The team reached the final having debated, somewhat topically, the abolition of exams, the negative effects of social media and the relative strengths and weaknesses of nationalism.
School was represented by Patrick Thomson (Sc5), Robert Adams (Sc3), Jamie Lambert (Sc4) and Paddy Davies Jones (Sc5). In previous rounds the boys had tackled the importance placed on STEM subjects and the future of the monarchy.
Behind the motion set for the final, “This House believes that political correctness is killing comedy”, lay a number of serious issues that the teams teased out with great skill and argumentative agility. Ultimately, the judging panel – chaired by the Headmaster – decided that School proved more persuasive.
The final was held in the EM Forster Theatre and watched by a good number of socially distanced staff and pupils from across the School.
Competition organiser Sarah Pinto del Rio, Deputy Head of English, said: “The Senior House Debating Final is one of the highlights of the school year. It is most encouraging to see that our boys are able to tackle complex issues with thoughtfulness and sensitivity, appeal to an audience of their peers and – perhaps most importantly – disagree respectfully.”
* Harry French (PH3), Sam Kenny (MH3), Will Nolan (MH3), Kontantin Mamkhegov (PH3), Archie Heslop (MH3) and Ollie Grant (PS3) took part in the regional final of the prestigious ESU (English-Speaking Union) public speaking competition just before the Easter break. There were seven teams from four schools across the south east taking part, with Tonbridge entering two teams.
All of the boys put in excellent performances, with Harry French named best speaker and Sam Kenny best questioner. Additionally, the team comprising Harry, Konstantin and Will came second overall.
Will Law, Head of Modern Languages, added: “These are really impressive accolades, given the nature and style of this competition, and the boys should be really proud. We are still waiting to see whether Harry, Konstantin and Will were a good enough second placed team (compared to others from different regions) to make it to the final round of the competition.
"At what was a busy time for the boys, they represented the school extremely well.”
Pictured above and below: The Senior Debating Final takes place in the School's EM Forster Theatre on Friday 26 March, which was also a Home Clothes Day in support of Child Action Lanka.