Hot topics: QE boys discuss women in the workplace with girls’ school pupils

Hot topics: QE boys discuss women in the workplace with girls’ school pupils

Fifty pupils from Year 8 tested their debating skills under pressure during a visit to a leading girls’ school.

The QE boys joined an equal number of girls from The Henrietta Barnett School in Hampstead for the competitive debating symposium. After the motions to be debated were announced, the mixed groups of boys and girls then had just half-an-hour to research their topics before the debates started.

The motions included: This House believes the media does not have a right to intrude in the lives of public figures and This House would impose quotas for women in workplaces where they are under-represented.

The symposium was one of a regular series of academic enrichment events for Years 8-10 held jointly with HBS.

Nisha Mayer, QE’s Head of Academic Enrichment, said: “Students were very engaged and enthused throughout the morning. We lay great emphasis on the importance of developing oracy – the ability to communicate well using the spoken word. At events such as this symposium, pupils gain early exposure to the need to articulate their arguments. They learn to think on their feet and begin to appreciate the importance of keeping abreast of current affairs and societal issues – an interest that we seek to cultivate both during lesson time and in extra-curricular activities.

“Because of our single-sex environment at QE, there are also benefits for the boys in interacting and sharing ideas with peers from a girls’ school: we are very fortunate to have such a mutually advantageous partnership.”

After the initial debates in ‘break-out’ rooms, all 100 boys and girls joined together for the final, where the best six debaters did battle, each receiving certificates.