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Palace of Westminster Debate

Millie Rice, Bim Afolami MP, Emma Shardlow

On Thursday last week, we were lucky enough to take a trip to the Houses of Parliament to take part in the Hitchin and Harpenden Schools’ Debate Competition, and afterwards we were taken on an extensive tour of the Houses of Parliament. We arrived bright and early in Westminster on Thursday morning, meaning we had extra time to prepare for our debates and to experience the huge amount of history that the Palace of Westminster is steeped in. This competition was hosted by Hitchin and Harpenden MP, Bim Afolami, and saw a wide range of excellent and articulate debates from different schools in the area. The competition was split into two categories; Junior (Y10- 11) and Senior (Y12- 13). Emma Shardlow and I competed in the senior category, and we proposed the motion: ‘This House would force all private companies such as Facebook and Whatsapp to hand over all private messages to the government upon request.’ Our competition was judged expertly by Annie Brewster, Adrian Hawkins, journalist Layth Yousif and the Reverend Mary Fane de Salis, and we would like to say a huge thank you to the judges for taking time out of their day to listen to us speak and offer their questions. We faced excellent competition from the team from Roundwood Park, both of whom made valid and interesting points, but Emma and I had convinced the judges of our argument and so we won our debate. Later on, we found out that we had worked hard enough and had performed well enough to win the Overall Senior Debate- an achievement that we are both incredibly proud of, as the standard of debate from everyone was fantastic, and we worked very hard in the run up to the debate to perfect our arguments. We had a great day representing the school, and I would encourage anyone interested in debate to get involved!
Millie Rice 12R

Emma Barclay and I were on the junior debating team representing our school, against the Priory. We were then able to watch the other debates which were as fiery and awe inspiring as ever. After the junior and senior teams were finished with the debates, we gathered for the prize giving ceremony. After a few jokes, it was announced that Emma and Millie (our senior team) had won the senior debate, a much deserved win. We then had our photo call with the other schools, and our MP Bim Afolami. He was incredibly nice and seemed just as engaged as the rest of us in the debates. Lastly, we had a history filled tour around the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It was really interesting being able to see all around the Palace, a true once in a lifetime experience. I learnt so much about the building as well as the monarchy and the MPs themselves. To see how they voted, where they sat and the grandeur of the Palace was an eye opener, and certainly inspiring, and I might even consider it a career for myself! We then finished the day with photos, before heading back to school. Overall, the day was incredible and definitely a unique experience, and I am so glad I was able to represent the school somewhere as prestigious as the Palace of Westminster. 

Anjali Dey 11A

Palace of Westminster Debate

17 November 2017

Congratulations Emma Shardlow and Millie Rice for winning the senior competition at the Palace of Westminster Debate. Well done to Anjali Dey and Emma Barclay who also participated in the competition.
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