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  • Northern Education Trust students take part in The Big Debate Northern Education Trust students take part in The Big Debate

    Year 10 students across the Trust’s secondary academies compete in a debate-style project on climate change and children’s rights.

    Northern Education Trust is hosting its first ever The Big Debate event, with year 10 pupils from all secondary academies competing as part of their Literacy Strategy into KS4, allowing students to improve on a variety of skills such as team work, oracy, communication and research skills.

    Split into groups of up to 7, students will argue a side on ‘Will Climate Change Affect Children’s Rights?’ and battle it out in 3 rounds, with Round 1 taking place on 10 November 2022, round 2 on 30 November 2022 and the final round on 14 December 2022. During the launch event at NET Staff College on 19 October, students learned which side they will be arguing, what is to be expected at each round and how they will be marked. Students will then have time to conduct their research and structure their arguments, ready for round 1.

    In rounds 1 and 2 students will look at climate change and the strategies that are being put in place to reduce the effects before combining both arguments together in round 3. In rounds 1 and 2 teams will also be eliminated after they are judged and scored on the presentations they put forwards. Once all rounds have commenced and arguments have been scored, the winning team will receive a trophy which they can keep for the year until the next instalment of The Big Debate takes place in 2023.

    The Big Debate is an important part of the students’ enrichment for a number of reasons: The University of Bedfordshire found that debating can improve students’ test results as they are able to organise their answers in a more coherent structure (Billman and Christiensen, 2008). Similarly, Carr (2002) states that debating allows students to see arguments from a variety of perspectives in a mature and sensitive environment.

    Ms Howieson, Literacy Lead who has worked superbly to organise this event said: “I am extremely excited for our students from all 12 of the trust’s secondary academies, to participate in our first-ever event of this kind. Activities like this are vital in developing young people’s confidence and this is a fantastic opportunity for our students to advance their communication, research, and teamwork skills, whilst engaging with a topic that can inspire them to make real changes within their communities. I wish all the participants the best of luck.”

    The students are also feeling the excitement and are eager to make a start. A student at Hetton said “I am really excited to work with other academies across the Trust. I think it will massively help improve my skill set for the future and I look forward to researching the topics”

    A student at Dyke House said “I’m hoping to learn new skills over the debate competition such as improving my confidence and ability to speak in front of people. I think that if I improve these I will be able to succeed in the future.”

    A student at Red House said “This is going to be a really exciting competition. I think it is good that we have something that is not sport related that we can take part in. I am also really excited that I can do it as a Year 10 pupil and bring in some of the knowledge I have from lessons.”

    3:39 pm, 1 November 2022 Published in
    Did you know? All of our 21 inspected academies are graded GOOD or OUTSTANDING

    And Northern Education Trust underwent a Multi-Academy Trust Summary Evaluation visit by Ofsted in March 2023.

    Read our MAT Summary Evaluation