Students from Thorp Academy (Thorp) in Ryton, have reached the regional finals of the national Institute of Ideas Debating Matters competition. This academically acclaimed competition has been the premier performance for Thorp’s debating team, battling alongside teams from 12 regions throughout the country.
The Institute of Ideas launched the competition in 2003, aiming to provide schools with an innovative and engaging approach to debating, which the Thorp students certainly grasped. It has staged Debating Matters in India, Israel and Germany to date, and worked with educational bodies such as Aim Higher, and in partnership with organisations such as the Research Councils UK (RCUK).
The enthusiastic Thorp students debated in the qualifying rounds to reach the regional finals which will take place at Teesside University in Middlesbrough on 26th April 2017, after beating Heaton Manor School in the second last leg of the competition.
The Thorp debating team was split in two, with Annie Dabb and Lauren White arguing against the motion that we should not share medical data, James Harrison and Holly Young argued for the motion that we should not pull down controversial historical monuments.
It was most certainly a team effort that placed victory on the horizon for the four pupils, however James Harrison proved to be star of the show after being awarded the best individual prize.
Preparation for the finals has already begun, with the help from Thorp’s Critical Thinking enrichment group who are supporting the debating team each step of the way, in the hope to win the overall title of ‘Debating Matters Champions’.