Pocklington School

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Lower Sixth linguists excel in debating challenge

Lower Sixth linguists excel in debating challenge
Two students sat at a desk in a classroom

Four Lower Sixth pupils showcased their superb linguistic skills when they participated in the St Peter’s School Modern Foreign Language (MFL) debating competition. 

Eleven schools entered the annual event, which required teams to debate in their chosen MFL – French, Spanish or German.  Pocklington entered two teams, who competed in the French and Spanish debates. The contestants were informed of the debate topics in advance, so they could prepare a motion response, but they did not know whether they would be arguing for or against until the beginning of each round. 

Lucy Grewer and Charlie Hutchinson, who prepared for the French debate, started well, and progressed to the semi-final in which they argued superbly in support of pupils learning foreign languages at school. However, they were beaten by the narrowest of margins by a team who went on to win the competition. 

Christine Caesar and Louisa Chacksfield represented Pocklington School in the Spanish competition. They won both of their preliminary rounds to secure them a place in the semi-final, which they won comfortably to take them into the final. The pressure was on as they were given just 15-minutes to prepare their argument in favour of homework being set in schools, a motion that they had not been given in advance. The team gave another outstanding performance to win the competition against a strong team from Fulford School. 

Catherine Davies, MFL teacher and subject leader of French at Pocklington School said: “I am so proud of how all four pupils coped with such a challenging event. They all rose to the occasion and performed so confidently throughout, responding spontaneously to arguments put forward by the opposition as well as putting forward their own clearly structured points. They can be very proud of their achievements, and it was an absolute pleasure accompanying them."