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Hard work pays off for Old Palace French debating team now through to national finals.

French A-level students from Old Palace of John Whitgift School stole the show on Wednesday 10 February, winning the French debating competition Les Joutes Oratoires placing them in the national debating final at the Institut Francais in Kensington. One A-level student, Majurikka Selvalingam, reports on the experience:

French A level students from a variety of schools in the South East  took part in ‘Les Joutes Oratoires’, a high level French debating competition. The regional South Eastern heat of Joutes Oratoires has been an ongoing feature at Old Palace over the past three years and it attracts A-level French specialists from the best schools in the country. Preparation techniques can vary from school to school between the very prepared and the almost spontaneous.

At Old Palace, we were given three topics to research and debate, ranging from nuclear energy to euthanasia. After weeks of preparation, we eventually debated against different schools such as Bromley High, Trinity and Tonbridge. So, well done to Zara, Isobel, Perpetua and Majurikka for participating in the debate. The final debate was definitely a heated one but Old Palace girls’ first team, composed of Isobel and Zara, gained a resounding victory against an excellent RGS Guildford team, defending the motion that the current NHS reforms are doomed to fail.

In order to reach the final, Isobel and Zara had to battle their way through many motions viz: that refugee quotas across the EU are a just and fair measure (Les quotas de réfugiés dans les pays de l’UE sont une mesure juste et nécessaire), that nuclear energy is the only way forward, that passing assisted death legislation is the sign of an advanced society and, in the semi-finals, that Information Technology can only be detrimental to language learning in the long-term.

A huge well done to Zara and Isobel for winning this year’s south eastern heat of ‘Les Joutes Oratoires’ and now good luck with the debates in the national final in the salons of the “Institut Francais” in Kensington. We wish you all the best on March 15th!

Lastly, we would like to thank Mme Poirier and Mr Talleux for preparing us for the debate and, of course, thank you to Mr Le Berre for organising the event.

To find out more about Old Palace of John Whitigft School, visit their webpage.

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