Junior Debating Society

Debating is an excellent way to develop communication and critical thinking skills. The ability to research and organise information is another critical part of presenting an argument. However, the Junior Debating Club is also about having fun.

Pupils in Years 8 – 10 are invited to join the debate on Thursdays in G12.

Bloomfield Rules

All debates consist of teams, rules and adjudication. We follow the British Parliamentary (BP) format, modeled loosely on the debating style used in the House of Commons. There are two teams in our debates, each team composed of two speakers. One team argues in favour of a policy while the other team argue against it. Each debator speaks only once and the sides (proposition and opposition) take alternating turns giving speeches, which usually last for four or five minutes.

  1. The Government side defines the debate and delivers two or three arguments supporting why the policy should be enacted.
  2. The Opposition can rebut the Government’s point of view or introduce new concepts and arguments against the proposition.
  3. The second Government speaker extends the debate, offering new arguments and analysis in support of the policy.
  4. Finally, the second Opposition summarises the debate, offering a biased interpretation of the issues involved and showing why the opposition deserves to win.

Points of Information (POI) are brief questions or comments made by a debator to a speaker on the other side of the motion. These interruptions are not usually allowed during the opening or closing remarks of speech. Remember, it is acceptable for the judge or speaker to dismiss a point of information. At the end of the speeches, a vote is taken to pass or dismiss the motion.

Recent Debates

Speeches- Ghosts, This house believes there is no such thing as ghosts.

At this time of the year, with Halloween just around the corner, we would all love to believe that ghosts are real. We would love to believe that little, cute ghosts which look like flying sheets are fluttering about our houses, and that scary monsters are shaking chains at us. We may even want to believe that our ancestors wander this world wailing “weeoh”.

We love ghosts.

All the shops make a fortune selling ghost costumes and ornaments and, if you get into it enough, you might actually begin to believe that the ghostbusters are actually needed!!

But it is my responsibility today to let you know that ghosts – are – not – real. Sorry.

Firstly, I can guarantee that no one in this room, or in this school, has actually SEEN a ghost. You may imagine that you have felt a sudden chill, heard a strange noise or sensed a scary presence. BUT – it was just the wind, next door’s dog, a hinge that needs oiled or an episode of Scooby Do.

If ghosts were real somebody somewhere would have actually seen one!! Scientists have for years attempted to find ghosts and, according to Brian Cox, if ghosts were real they really should have been found by now. In 2008 the Large Hadron Collider was completed. It can analyse particles which the human eye and microscopes cannot see. And guess what? No ghosts. No paranormal stuff.

You might say – but I saw a ghost in a photograph! A real, old, Victorian photograph! Well, interestingly, the Victorians were obsessed with ghosts and spirits and some very clever entrepreneurs made a lot of money exploiting people’s interest in ghosts. Some dishonest photographers in the Victorian era manipulated people who believed that the camera could see into the spirit world. They added ghostly figures into the background of people’s pictures!!! The public loved it and the photographers made a fortune! It was trick photography.

Just like Tesco this month selling fake ghosts these men made money out of the belief that ghosts are real. THEY’RE NOT.

It has been said that 52% of people believe in ghosts. Interesting. That’s more than half of people! But bear in mind that 52% of people voted for Brexit and look at the mess that got us into!!

There is no such thing as ghosts!

Public Speaking Competitions

Young Magistrates Competition

Open to pupils in Year 10 this prestigious competition gives pupils an insight into the legal profession. The competition is organised by the Citizenship Foundation and involves schools from across all of the UK. Pupils take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff using specially written cases. Held in real Magistrates Courts and judged by magistrates and other legal professionals, the competition takes place at regional and national levels. Bloomfield has won the Northern Ireland heat in 2010 and 2011 and finished fourth in the UK national finals held in Birmingham in 2011.

EU Mock Council

This competition organised by the British Council and the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland is open to pupils in Year13/14 who have interest in Citizenship and European affairs. Students who take part in the competition are expected to participate in a live debate on two topical European subjects with students from other schools across Northern Ireland. By participating in the initiative students can find out more about the workings of the European Union and also get a chance to practice their debating and diplomacy skills.

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