Inter-House Debating is one of the most important events in Aiglon's cultural calendar, and the 2018 competition is already in full swing.
Houses have, so far, tackled a wide range of topics with wit, passion and skill: in the second round, on Wednesday, February 21st, Delaware and Clairmont locked horns over the right to bear arms (with the girls emerging triumphant), and Le Cerf and St Louis grappled with the emergence of artificial emotional intelligence (where the boys' poise and winning arguments secured their victory). The first round saw Exeter convince us that Delaware's claims that the world was a better place yesterday were flawed, and Belvedere beat Alpina, arguing that bigger is not always better. A series of closely-fought debates means that the third and final preliminary round, this week, will prove decisive in ascertaining which two houses will proceed to the final at the start of the summer term.
Aiglon has a thriving student-led debating CAS option, but the Inter-House competition is an opportunity to get everybody – pupils and teachers alike! – involved. Each house must field a team of three debaters, with at least one representative from the lower school, but they must also rely on the support of floor speakers – other students and house tutors – who are able to intervene and offer further interventions, which can be as humorous as they are insightful. The standard of the debates remains very high – especially when one considers that houses have just over 48 hours to assimilate their arguments after motions are revealed in Monday morning's Assembly.
Debating and public speaking remain vital skills in today's world; this competition encourages students to explore contemporary issues in a unique way and introduces them to different points of view. Above all else, it teaches them how to engage with an audience and communicate effectively. Whether as the CEO at a company meeting, a lawyer holding court, or the best man at a friend's wedding, they will be sure to deploy what they have learnt in the future.
From Mr Law
Master in charge, Debating