BMS Debating Society

One of our most impactful student leaders, Jhanavi Tiwari, was elected to take over the leadership of the debating society from one of our BMS legends, Leon Hirsh. Leon is certainly a tough act to follow, but Jhanavi has taken to the role really well and is launching a new initiative today.

Since our time in school has been cut short, the opportunities to have live debates in person are not possible for the time being – but this has not stopped the strong will and determination of Jhanavi to try and keep debating alive.

Debating Team

Jhanavi has been a great ambassador already this year contributing significantly to the activities and visits to the Bushey Care Home and also leading some great charity work during Sports Relief (if you bought a wrist band, Jhanavi and her team of friends organised this all themselves).

You may also have come across her in the LRC as she regularly provides a service to students and staff there.  Jhanavi manages to find time to contribute to so much within the school and I know she has supported the MFL department as a languages leader too.  During the Year 10 work experience week, Jhanavi rushed back from her Central London placement to deliver a student leadership presentation at a full governors meeting and this was received very well.

Please read below what Jhanavi is launching to promote debating to a wider audience.

Right now during this extremely uncertain period of time, we are all trying to find ways to stay preoccupied and are being encouraged to try learning different skills. This lockdown will not last forever, and instead of focusing on all the negativity around us, I urge you to think positively and use this time wisely and discover what things interest you! 

A way to discover your interests is through debating. It is a fun activity in which you examine ideas with the aim of persuading people which allows us to consider the world around us by thinking about different arguments and looking at topics in a whole new perspective, engaging with opposing views and speaking in a strategic manner. It is a really important skill which helps you broaden your understanding of a topic and can boost your confidence massively. No matter where your interests lie there will always be a topic for you to debate on! 

Speaking for myself, leading the debating society for exactly a year now has changed my thoughts on a whole array of topics. Everyone in the debating society has joined it for many different reasons, some to gain confidence, some to improve the quality of their spoken English and it is really amazing to be able to see people grow.

Below are a few reasons why the members of the debating society like to take part:

The Debating Society helps me in making sure my argument is always heard and learning great leadership skills. – Gabi, Year 7

I like debating because I enjoy getting my point across and explaining why I believe and think certain things. It has also helped me develop many skills! Like research, being able to quickly gather responses, and just how to debate in general! I’ve even changed my opinion on things that  I was very sure about. – Blossom, Year 8

I like debating because unlike an argument, everybody has the chance to speak and it is constructive, but also healthily competitive, definitely a good life skill. – Mihir, Year 9 

Debating has always attracted me greatly; I love fighting for what is right. When debating, I am revealing the truth to people, I am putting forward ideas that I believe in and adopting a similar view. – James, Year 10

We are setting up a debating challenge and we’d love to hear all your views on:

This house believes that drug use should be treated as a mental health issue rather than a criminal offense.

I decided on this topic because it is quite controversial and it’s something that an increasing number of people are questioning as our understanding of mental health develops, it is very complex to say the least! 

This is a challenge open to everyone, all students and teachers! There is no minimum or maximum limit to writing but the more persuasive you can be the better. The deadline for this challenge is 13th May.  We will be collating all the arguments together in a follow up article to let you know the final verdict. Please email your debates to [email protected]

By Jhanavi Tiwari 10Oak

Well done Jhanavi and keep up the great work!

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