Year 7 rounded off the annual House debating competition, impressing the judges with their debut performances.  

Teams argued for and against whether the NHS has now got so large that it is a waste of money. This was to coincide with NHS Week in school. 

The winners were Darwin (69 points), who edged out runners-up Garrick (65 points). Johnson (35 points) and Seward (33 points) were also closely matched in third and fourth places, and featured excellent individual performances. 

Caleb Stead (Garrick) and Amber Athwal (Seward) were chosen by the judges as the ‘Most Valuable Debaters’. Aoife Wakeham (Johnson) received a special mention for her strong contribution also. All participants receive House Points and certificates. 

The winning team were Ewan Brodie, Isabelle Webb, Beatrice Martin and Emily Sones. Kailen Goalby, Eloise Walker and Sophie Rogers were also runners-up. Molly Yates, Katie Sandel and Phoebe Moore were the other Johnson participants; William Barry, Tommy Baines and Jess Hewkin debated for Seward. 

There were some very good points raised, and clear evidence of independent research. Kailen reflected on the huge cost of missed appointments, whilst Eloise pointed out that some patients are kept in hospital longer than necessary.  

Isabelle asked: ‘What would life be like in the pandemic without the NHS?’ 

Jess said: ‘The NHS is the fairest health system in the world – without the NHS, millions might have lost their lives during the pandemic.’ 

Beatrice argued: ‘The NHS belongs to the people.’ 

Helena Cresswell, School Librarian and head judge, commented on the high standard of Year 7 performances. “It was clear how much preparation students had done. They took both the topic and the competition very seriously; they have set a high standard for themselves next year.”