Three QE teams all won two of their three debates in a competition against other leading schools, even though they had had no time to practise – and members of one had not even met up before the event.
Ten boys went on the trip to the South Hampstead High School (SHHS) Friendly Debating Competition, where they were given only 15 minutes to prepare ahead of each debate.
They covered a range of topics, debating whether trials should be televised, how to handle refugee settlement in the UK and whether the rise of social media is good for society.
Their debating coach for the trip, Economics teacher Sheerwan O’Shea-Nejad, said: “The boys really thought on their feet well; they were able to persuade the judges of their arguments using a brilliant blend of analysis and examples (with no use of electronic devices for research allowed).
“Logistical issues meant the teams had not been able to practise even once together, while our Key Stage 3 team, drawn from various year groups, had not even met before their first debate, which made the successes even more remarkable.
“Special credit must also be given to our other two teams, who were all from Year 10 yet managed to defeat Year 12 students representing some of London’s leading independent schools.
“All in all, it was another great advertisement for how QE produces intelligent, knowledgeable and confident students.”
The boys took full advantage of the opportunity to get some expert feedback, reported Mr O’Shea-Nejad. The judges included some on the world’s best young debaters, drawn from universities across London.
Among them was Umar Buckus, who has judged at the European, Asian and World debating championships. He said: “The QE debaters showed great potential and talent, despite their lack of experience. I look forward to hopefully seeing them triumph at a future tournament.”
Afterwards, QE2 team captain Ady Tiwari thanked Mr O’Shea-Nejad, adding: “It was an enlightening and thought-provoking experience that nurtured my development.”
The teams were:
QE1: Keshav Aggarwal, Year 8; Rishan Virmani, Year 7; Simi Bloom, Year 9, and Adithya Raghuraman, Year 9
QE2: Girish Adapa, Year 10; Ady Tiwari, Year 10, and Shreyas Mone, Year 10
QE3: Vaibhav Gaddi, Year 10; Harrshiv Vyas, Year 10, and Akshat Bajaj, Year 10