English Speaking Union – 5th February 2019

National Speaking Competition

5th February 2019

By Lesley Mckenzie

We were delighted to welcome teams from Malcolm Arnold, Shenley, Bedford, Bedford Modern and Northampton High School to Hazeley for the ESU debating competition. The ESU was founded in 1918 and has 35 branches in the UK and is present in 50 countries worldwide. The competition develops key skills for the future with students researching topical subjects, learning how to think analytically and using evidence to support conclusions. Shenley spoke on the topic ‘Is mental illness in school children getting the detention it deserves?’, Northampton spoke about whether Britain should pay reparations for the harm done by empire, Ousedale had ‘Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind’, Bedford ‘The internet is a drug and we are all addicted’ and Bedford Modern ‘Men and women will never be equal’. With many thanks to Roger Cornwell for chairing the debate, the judges Tony Wood, Anne Kaye and Hilary Eltringham and timekeeper Stephen Hibberd.

Well done to Shenley for winning the best speaker and to Bedford for winning the  overall team!