Royal Schools Debate Thursday 16th November 2017
This annual event was inaugurated in 2008 to celebrate 400 years of the Royal Schools. Each year, one of our 5 Royal Schools hosts the event and this year was the first opportunity for Enniskillen Royal Grammar School to welcome The Royal and Prior School Raphoe, The Royal School Cavan, The Royal School Armagh and The Royal School Dungannon.
We welcomed our fellow Royal Schools for an early supper at 4pm where the delicious chicken curry and doughnuts provided by the kitchen went down a treat with all our guests. Miss Heap and Mrs Sally Rees welcomed our guests and Mrs Rees ensured all the catering ran smoothly.
Our time keepers were Nikki Sotiropoulou, Nessa Brennan, Hannah Sharkey and Hannah Morrison and our Prefect was Lara Todd and they were essential in guaranteeing the smooth running of the complex debates.
We were kindly assisted in our event by four judges, Mrs Margaret Owens, Mr David Wilkinson, Mrs Claire Holmes and Mrs Diana Armstrong who meticulously decided the winners for each round.
After we had briefed our Chairpersons Mrs Carol Day and Mrs Fiona Millar from Armagh, Mrs Sarah McCullough from Dungannon and Mrs Isabel Gilmore and Mr Andrew Elliott from Enniskillen, we commenced our busy night of three rounds of diverse and challenging motions.
The judges were very impressed with the presence, confidence, knowledge and articulation of all of our speakers and deliberated at length to reach their decisions.
The final motion was revealed at the start of the tea break so our teams had only 30 minutes to prepare and all in the audience were struck by the quality of the arguments presented. Debaters, teachers and helpers were treated to refreshments and a delicious array of tray bakes to keep everyone’s energy up for the final.
Eniola and Jayne presented a spirited and confident opposition to the final motion that ‘this House believes that taking part is more important than winning’ supporting their key points with provocative and convincing examples. Their body language and delivery skilfully reinforced their cogent argument.
Miss Armstrong bought our evening to a close, thanking all who had been part of a special evening.
The Best Individual Speaker plate was awarded to Conor Baxter on the Year 13 team who had delivered passionate and skilful speeches in both the quarter and semi-final.
The Harry West Public Speaking Cup was awarded to Eniola Ladapo and Jayne Monaghan who had faced still competition from Raphoe, Armagh and Cavan and we were honoured to have Diana Armstrong, Harry’s daughter, present the cup.
Miss Heap would like to thank all staff and pupils who contributed to such a successful event and we look forward to welcoming our Royal Schools back in future.