Posted: 30 June, 2021

GDST Junior Debating Tournament 2021

Debating, General, News, Past Events, Senior School

Earlier this term our Debating team competed in the second ever GDST Junior Debating Tournament, a tournament which was started by Putney High last year.

The tournament was organised by Putney High, in collaboration with South Hampstead High School, and Anna H, Year 8, accompanied the team to report the events of the day.


Mia and Ellie, Year 8 Putney ‘Bean’ Team

Mia and Ellie, Year 8 Putney ‘Bean’ Team

Junior Debating Competition Report, by Anna H

Putney High School took part in a debating competition on 15 May. I followed Putney’s Year 8 team through their 4 rounds of debating. The debates were in British Parliamentary form, with 4 teams of 2: Opening Government, Closing Government, Opening Opposition, and Closing Opposition. It was a competition between 44 teams with well over 100 students taking part, either judging or debating. Around 20 schools took part in this day.


The first round had the motion: This house would allow parents to take their children out of lessons for religious, moral or political reasons. This would give parents the choice to take their children out of lessons, but only for specific reasons. The Opening Government’s main points consisted of freedom of choice, parents knowing their children best, and the idea of less political conflict. The Opening Opposition made the points that attending these lessons made you more prepared for later life, and they then continued to expand on this over their two speeches. The Closing Government made the point that some students are allowed to skip biology dissections. Why shouldn’t we be able to miss other uncomfortable subjects? The Closing Opposition mentioned the fact that parents get the choice and not the children, as well as saying that schools know not to dive too deep into uncomfortable subjects before the right age. Then both of the Whip Speakers summarised the debate as a whole. The winner of this debate was the Opening Government, with Putney taking second place.


The second round used the motion: This House Believes The Feminist Movement Should Oppose The Beauty and Fashion Industries. This means that the feminist movements should protest against the beauty and fashion industries. Opening Government started by saying that the fashion and beauty industry put women in dresses with lost of makeup and unrealistic bodies. Saying this is how to be beautiful and this is exactly what the movement stands against. Opening Opposition rebutted this by saying that the fashion industry purely shows personality before moving on to say that it makes people feel beautiful and this wasn’t bad; as well as saying how attacking the fashion industry would destroy many jobs. Opening Government then said how the industries bring pressure to women to dress a certain way. Closing Government said how some personalities aren’t given representation in the fashion industry. After that, the Closing Opposition said that the fashion and beauty industries didn’t make it a requirement to wear their products but a choice. In this debate Putney High won!


The third round used the motion: This House Would Publish The App With Reward Of Tax Reduction. This means that the Government would publish an app that rewarded you for good deeds that the app would track. A high score would be considered 365 points which meant one point a day to receive a tax reduction. A lot of points were made in this debate but in my opinion the most important would be: encouragement to do good things especially with a reward although this point was often combatted by the fact that we shouldn’t need to reward adults for simple acts like taking a bus or train. Bribery was also mentioned but called an incentive as rebuttal. The opposition argued we wouldn’t know the affect until the publication of the app. An interesting point in the debate was the involvement of children despite them not paying tax along with the app being compared to addictive apps such as PokemonGo. Putney High came 3rd in this debate.


Next was the silver final which the Putney ‘Bean’ Team (Year 8) competed in. The motion was This House Would Oppose Private Companies using social movements to sell more products. A lot of points were made during this debate the main ones being: the way selling pride bags for example makes people think about the movement. This point in particular came up a lot in the debate. It was often rebutted by saying people might not see the links between the movement and the logo. The government made the point that it takes away the background and turns the movement into being a way for companies to make money rather then to make a difference in the way the movement intended. Many other interesting points came up such as the fact that companies were taking advantage of the mistreatment of people.

Putney didn’t win this debate but came 8th overall which was a great end to an amazing day of debates.

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