Shapwick victorious at Senior House Debating final

The Senior House Debating competition came to an end this week with a hard-fought final between boys’ houses Shapwick and Etonhurst.

Both houses had an impressive track record throughout the five rounds of the competition, having debated topics such as a proposed salary cap on professional sports, the use of force to defend human rights and the assertion that charity may do more harm than good.

Fittingly, given recent events both at home and abroad, the motion for the final debate was ‘This House still believes in Democracy’. It fell to the Shapwick team of Nick Brookes, Tommy Norman and Stephen Whatley to propose the motion, whilst Etonhurst boys Ralph Cadzow. Dan Hall and Billy Zander were in opposition.  

The stage was set for an extensive exploration of the advantages and disadvantages of democracy by the speakers who referred to historical examples as well as including up to the minute references to the election of Donald Trump and the ramifications of Brexit on our own shores.

In adjudicating, our guest of honour, local solicitor Mrs Fiona Holloway, commended both teams for the quality of their research as well as their confidence in grappling with a sophisticated and complex issue. She noted in particular the demands of producing a reasoned argument in such a short time limit and praised all the speakers for the excellent structure and organisation that was apparent throughout the debate.

All speakers from the later stages of the competition have been invited to join our annual trip to the Houses of Parliament where they will be given a tour of the workings of government and take part in a law-making workshop before meeting our local MP for a question and answer session.