Debating and public speaking

There are significant opportunities for students to develop valuable skills in debating and public speaking. There is a lunchtime debating club open to students in years 7-11, and an afterschool club for students in the sixth form. Members enjoy a weekly debate and then have the opportunity to represent Harrogate Grammar School in the local area debating competitions against a variety of local schools.

At Key stage 4 the school enters teams for the ESU Public Speaking Competition, in the past three years we have reached the regional final every time, and the national finals once. In the Sixth form we regularly field teams in several national competitions for example the Oxford and Cambridge Schools Competitions, the ESU Schools MACE and the Debating Matters competition run by the Institute of Ideas. The school has a good record of success in recent years, getting through to regional finals in most major competitions and we also participate in the red kite schools debating league.

Recent topics include:

“This House would include eGames in the Olympics”
“This House would abolish the United Nations”
“This House believes Britain should pay reparations for its role in the slave trade”
“This House would legalise the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport”