The GREAT Elstree Debate

Last week, the much-anticipated Middle and Senior School Elstree Debates took place in the McMullen Hall. 

Here, one of our Year 6 and three of our Year 8 pupils report on the hot topics that caused conflicting arguments. Read on to find out whether the Proposers or the Opposers won the vote.

Middle School Elstree Debate as reported by Arthur in Year 6

“The Elstree Year 6 debate took place in the afternoon of 10 December 2020 in front of both year 5 and 6.

The first debate was carried out by 6CLP.  The Proposers put forward the motion -“This house believes that a British Monarchy is not relevant anymore”.  One of their main arguments was that the Monarchy live in luxury, while 9.2% of the World’s population live on less than $1.25 a day, which is below the extreme poverty line.  This they thought was unfair. Furthermore, they argued that the Monarchy was very expensive to look after.

Meanwhile, the Opposers argued that the Monarchy brought in around £550 million to Great Britain each year. Subsequently, they added that this was a lot less expensive than a President. They concluded the Elstree Debate by stating that our Queen was an amazing ambassador for Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

The result was against the Proposers by a huge margin. Only 6 out of about 50 voted in favour.

The second debate was between 6EGG. The Proposers put forward the motion – “Space research is not relevant anymore”.  They argued that the $18 billion spent by NASA every year, could be invested in more useful activities. Secondly, they asked why space should be explored, when 99% of the Oceans remain unexplored.

The Opposers argued that space exploration has given us many technological advances. Moreover, they argued that satellites for mobile phones and GPS was invented through the space programme. In short, they concluded that space is the final frontier and should be explored.

The result was much closer than the first debate with the Opposers winning by 10 votes.

I really enjoyed taking part (and winning!) these very interesting debates. It is so important to learn how to argue your case. On the other hand, it’s vital to listen to other people’s opinions and not ignore them.”

Senior School Elstree Debate as reported by Ben in Year 8

“On Friday, Years 7 and 8 met to have the annual debate. Each Year 8 class put forward a motion and two sides to argue for and against it. The motions were “Should prisoners get the vote” (8FAW) (Motion passed), “Should footballers’ salaries be capped” (8AJB) (Not passed) and “Should euthanasia be legalised in the UK” (8LJO) (Passed).

However, the debate was not only to see who would win. It gave us a chance to express our opinions, practice public speaking and debating skills and to learn about the topics that were discussed. Everyone that argued their points made in-depth research and entered into the debate well. Those who weren’t speaking, were good listeners and asked considered, insightful questions that allowed the debate to go into depth on the topics. It was very enjoyable and very interesting for everyone.”

Senior School Elstree Debate as reported by Benedict in Year 8

“The debate on Friday 11th was, I think, one of the highlights of the term for many pupils, certainly for myself. The three motions were “This house believes that footballers’ pay should be capped”, “this house believes that prisoners in the UK should have the vote” and “This house believes that euthanasia should be legalised in the UK”. 

The first motion was not passed, with many feeling that they deserve the money and use it well. Secondly, the audience thought that that prisoners should have the right to vote. The great Elstree Debate concluded with an overwhelming majority believing that euthanasia should be legalised here in the UK.

Though I headed into the McMullen hall with my own views somewhat set, I learned more information from the experience. It has caused me to reconsider what I previously thought. It was also interesting to see what others thought and had to say. Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable experience, especially while presenting my speech, which was for the legalisation of euthanasia in the UK.”

Senior School Elstree Debate as reported by Harry in Year 8

“On Friday afternoon, Year 7 and 8 congregated in the McMullen Hall to enjoy three very interesting debate topics. The first debate, presented by 8FAW surrounded the motion “This house believes that prisoners should be allowed to vote”. Next, we watched 8AJB discuss the motion “This house believes that footballers salaries should be capped”. Finally, 8LJO debated (in which I was involved) the motion: – “This house believes that Euthanasia should be legalised”.

All three debates taught us a lot about the chosen topics and coming out of it I learnt many things. One thing was the style of debating, using persuasive language to make the listener sway towards your side and really knowing your topic to a large extent. Overall, it was a very enjoyable event in which many were able to participate. I hope that Year 7 are looking forward to participating in next year.”

Lectures at Elstree

In addition to the Elstree Great Debate, as part of the enrichment process, pupils attend several lectures from visiting speakers every term.