Sam Shurey at the Oxford Union
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Year 13 debaters Sam Shurey and Michael Acton won a place in the national finals of one of the toughest school debate competitions in the country. They travelled to the Oxford Union, an historic building which many world leaders have debated in, to take part in the national finals. This is the first year Thomas Hardye School has entered what's known as the British Parliamentary Debate style where there are two 'government' teams facing two 'opposition' teams. They had fifteen minutes to prepare five minute speeches on motions they had only just seen. These included 'This house would ban gay pride marches in areas where they might provoke a violent backlash' and 'The public should elect the chair of the BBC.'
The team took part in four debates, beating teams from schools like Eton College (B team!) and many others who have much longer experience of this debate format. While they did not win the final they did brilliantly and the debate club as a whole, both in lower school and sixth form, will use this style much more often in future.
Sam said "It was an amazing feeling to debate amongst some of the very best, within such a prestigious environment and a great experience that I will always remember"
In addition to this event, Thomas Hardye School has participated in both the Kingswood School and Haberdasher's Aske's School Model United Nations. Kingswood started with a speech from a woman from Myanmar about how much more the UN should do to ease suffering in her country. During the weekend, teams of five represented over a hundred countries and debated issues ranging from Israel to climate change and women's rights. Our 'Venezuela' team won a commended award and over half our delegates won awards of some kind. In the summer we plan for the whole of Year 12, with some students from other local schools, to organise a Thomas Hardye Model United Nations conference.
The following won awards, a huge amount considering it is the first year we have attended this particular Model UN conference.
Will Tucker - Commended
Morgan Jones - Commended
George Nowell - Highly commended
Samuel Shurey - Highly commended
The Venzuela team; James Frost, George Nowell, Grace Smith, Sam Shurey, Josh Misailidis and Nick Roe won highly commended - a considerable achievement when there were over one hundred teams.