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English Debating

Follow our competitions and outcomes on Twitter @KH_EngDebating

Debating and public speaking improve students' confidence and communication skills. They learn how to structure their ideas and put forward persuasive arguments. They also become more comfortable speaking in front of a group, which can be really useful when they need to make presentations for college or work in the future. Furthermore, taking part in debating improves students' general knowledge and teaches them about current affairs. With the opportunity to develop their own ideas and ability to express themselves, debating is extremely beneficial for students.


May 2017 update

King's Hospital's second annual Student Teacher Debate took place on Thursday, 11th of May in the Wilson Wright Hall. The teacher team, comprised of Ms Revyakina, Mr Smith and Mr Newman, proposed the motion 'This House would make the internet over 18s'. The opposing student team included Form 4 students Ahmad Ashfaque, Monique Botha and Vishal Khadanga. While the teachers put up a good fight, the motion was defeated and the students were victorious! Well done to everyone who took part!


This year, the school is taking part in several different English debating and public speaking competitions: 

  • Leinster Schools Debating Competition 
  • Concern Debating
  • Girls Public Speaking Competition
  • PhilSpeaks
  • Hist Mace


Leinster Schools Debating Competition 

We have 3 teams:

  • King's Hospital A - Robert Gibbons and Kemka Abuchi (Form 5)
  • King's Hospital B - Mimi Pataki and Róisín de Bhaldraithe  (Form 6)
  • King's Hospital C - Ella Barton and Luke Henry (Form 4)
  • Substitutes - Justin Awani (Form 4)

In Round 1 on the 27th of September and the 4th of October, the teams debating the motions 'This house would legalize all drugs' and 'This house would support the formation of a sovereign EU state'. KH A got through as a team, while Mimi Pataki from KH B and Luke Henry from KH C progressed as individual speakers. 

The competition includes a 'repecharge' round which is a second chance to progress to Round 2 and took place on the 18th of October. The motion was 'This house believes that doctors should make important medical decisions on behalf of children'. In this round, Justin Awani spoke as KH B, and both he and Ella Barton, speaking as KH C, got through.

House would ban all private political donations' and 'This House would require the unemployed to work to receive social welfare'. KH A got through as a team, while Mimi Pataki from KH B, Ella Barton from KH C and Justin Awani speaking for KH B progressed as individuals.

In the quarter finals on the 25th and 31st of January, the students debated the motions 'This House would allow for a legal market in human organs', 'This House would hold the creators of artificial intelligences legally responsible for the actions of their creations', 'This House supports a normalization of US-Cuba relations' and 'This House would introduce a cap on individual wealth'. Unfortunately, all of our debaters were knocked out, but they've made tremendous progress this year. Well done to  Kemka Abuchi, Robert Gibbons, Mimi Pataki, Róisín de Bhaldraithe, Luke Henry Ella Barton and Justin Awani!

Concern Debating

This year, we had a brand new Concern Debating team made up of Form 4 students including Sarah Agarau, Caroline Canzler, Jamie Cullen, Monique Botha, Vishal Khadanga, Ahmed Ashfaque, Marion Galin and Malte Lindigkeit.

Our first debate took place in Saint Joseph of Cluny on the 11th of October. The students opposed the motion 'Ending World Hunger by 2030 is an impossible dream' with Sarah Agarau serving as team captain. 

Our second debate took place at the King's Hospital on the 27th of October, with students proposing the motion 'France should allow religious symbols in public institutions' and again Sarah Agarau served as team captain. 

Our third debate took place in St Kilian's German School on the 17th of November with students opposing the motion 'Europe is failing Africa' and Monique Botha serving as team captain. 

Our final debate took place at the King's Hospital in the Harden Library on the 25th of January. We proposed the motion 'The United Nations should be disbanded', with Sandford Park School in opposition. Ahmed Ashfaque served as team captain, and the team achieved their first victory of the competition.

Unfortunately, the team have not progressed to the finals of the Concern Debating competition, but their public speaking and debating skills have improved immeasurably. We also owe a big thank you to the team at Concern who ran an excellent competition this year!

Girls Public Speaking Competition

Ruby Arnold (Form 5), took part in the Girls Public Speaking Competition run by Soroptimist International. The competition took place on the 19th of November in the Mansion House in Dublin. Ruby made an engaging speech on the Environment. Unfortunately, with 17 students competing for 2 places, she didn't make it through to the next round.


On Tuesday, the 6th of December, four students, Kemka Abuchi, Robert Gibbons, Justin Awani and Luke Harris, attended the PhilSpeaks workshop at Trinity College Dublin. They enjoyed the day and picked up lots of tips for the competition.

On Monday, the 6th of February, two students, Kemka Abuchi and Robert Gibbons, took part in the PhilSpeaks ProAm at Trinity College Dublin. Debating on teams with college students, they tackled motions including 'This House would hold parents legally responsible for the crimes of their children', 'This House would ban religious charities from proselytizing' and 'This House regrets the portrayal of indigenous peoples through Disney princesses'. They debated well and learnt a lot.

Hist Mace

The Hist Mace Debating Competition took place Friday-Saturday, March 10th-11th this year. This is a British Parliamentary style competition, in which 4 teams of 2 participate in each debate. Over the two days, there were 4 rounds, semi-finals and a final. We entered one team: Kemka Abuchi and Robert Gibbons. The motions included: 'THW allow the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport', 'THW require the economic policies of political parties to be checked by independent experts before being used in political campaigns', 'THW abolish prison sentences for non-violent crimes' and 'THW offer amnesty to dictators who step down'. Kemka and Robert reached the semi-final, breaking 8th out of 26 teams! Kemka was also the 10th best speaker in the competition! In the semi-final, they opposed the motion 'TH regrets the use of social media as a news source', and unfortunately they were knocked out. The motion for the final was 'THB the State has a duty to protect individuals from themselves'. Well done Kemka and Robert!
  • King's Hospital Debate