There was time for just one more debating competition before another busy and exciting term at The Friary comes to an end. Our Year 9 students went head to head last week to debate whether or not tourism is bad for society and the environment. This topic tied in with our whole-school focus of International Mountain Week.

The students showed that some very high quality independent research had taken place as a range of facts and figures were exchanged in what occasionally became quite a tense affair. There was lots of detail and information about the detrimental effects of tourism on the environment due mainly to air travel and construction of large-scale accommodation sites, however, this was countered with reference to sustainability programmes and other initiatives funded by tourism to help protect the environment.

Working conditions was a big talking point too as the team that argued tourism was a good thing outlined the millions of jobs worldwide generated by tourism and the subsequent impact on national economies. However, the other side pointed out the poor working conditions of many people working in the tourist industry around the world, citing a range of figures to back up their point.

Once again, the job of judging the winner proved almost impossible. The ranking was: Darwin 1st, Johnson 2nd, Seward 3rd and Garrick 4th. The most valuable debaters were Jensen McKenzie and Emily Turner.

Jane Mackenzie, Governor and guest judge said: “This is the first time that I have judged one of these debates and I was amazed by the passion of the students. The topic was a very challenging one and they had clearly done lots of independent research to prepare their statements and to counteract one another’s points. Well done to all!”