A good debate is more than just an argument

A TEAM of year five pupils from Micklehurst All Saints CE Primary School have emerged victorious following a closely fought competition delivered by the Mossley and Carrbrook Schools’ Partnership (MCSP) Debate Society.

The debate was the fifth instalment of a very successful scheme which invites children of primary school age to join their school’s extracurricular debating club, culminating in a termly joust with five other Mossley and Carrbrook schools.

The team had to undertake extensive research to disagree with the motion: Using the natural resources of the Amazon rainforest should be encouraged.

As well as the ability to deliver sound perspectives, the team had to critically think, listen and speak through the responses delivered by a very strong team from Buckton Vale Primary School.

Joanne Harding, who leads the debate club at Micklehurst All Saints, praised the children who enthusiastically commit their time each week to prepare and deliver well-reasoned cases.

She said: “Not only does debating help children to develop their reasoning skills, but to stand up and present their findings, under pressure, in front of an unfamiliar audience, building both esteem and resilience.

“Children want to express themselves and their opinions and it is great they get the opportunity to do this with such matters that are becoming increasingly important to them.”

The MCSP’s main objective for initiating debating for primary school children was to develop oracy skills.

Debating offers different perspectives and opinions, a real-life skill that will help as some of the older children begin to think about the transition up to secondary school where they have the option to continue debating.

In fact, a host of ex-pupils, who are currently studying in year seven at Mossley Hollins High School, were present as helpers at the primary event last week.

The debating team at Micklehurst All Saints hope to maintain a dominance in the next round of the MSCP debates, which is scheduled for June. This time, the motion of space exploration versus government priority is on the agenda.

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