Would you rather live in a bustling city – full of culture, excitement and opportunity – or breathe in the clear, crisp air of the beautiful British Countryside? Find out the DCPS consensus at this year’s YR8Gr8DB8! This year’s motion was as follows: ‘This House believes cities are better than villages’.

Ella Taylor and Cam Stevens proposed the motion.  Ella opened proceedings with some convincing arguments: city dwellers benefit from culture, diversity, museums, excitement, opportunity and superfast broadband. There are coffee shops, convenience stores, cinemas, ice rinks and more entertainment than any person could possibly need in a lifetime. An abundance of transport links makes getting from A to B relatively quick, easy and cheap. She added an enlightening statement from the Headmaster which summed up the cultural diversity and wealth of experience a city life can bring:  ‘The best of the world’s cities are composed of multiple ‘villages’ each with their own hazy boundary and distinctive character. This is why cities are so fascinating since they are a melting pot of cultures that allow societies to develop with an understanding and a tolerance of each other. Surely this is more healthy for our communities rather than discrete, isolated, mono-cultured villages?’

As chief opposer of the motion, Jamie Richardson countered by painting a beautiful picture of the quintessential English village: Cotswold Stone cottages complete with thatched roofs; Sunday lunch with friends in the village pub in front of a roaring fire, followed by a gentle stroll home through the woods; summer evenings spent watching cricket as the light fades late into the evenings. He certainly had the staff speed-dialling Rightmove!

As with all good debates each team had a seconder. Cam Stevens supported Ella’s arguments with strong ‘city points’ about hospitals, sports stadiums and some nifty one liners (it’s ‘Manchester United’ … not Manchester Village) –  cities being cultural paradises which offer the opportunity to thrive (rather than aging prematurely in the sticks!).

Amelia Lindsay gave a feisty final speech – attacking cities and promoting village life – with some hard facts about pollution, overcrowding, crime and drugs.

The ‘floor’ (our Year 7 and Year 8 audience) was then invited to ask questions:
Is it cheaper to live in the city or the countryside?
How do you feel about rural crime?
What about shops – how do villagers cope with being so far away from the shops?
What is the educational impact of living in the city with no open green spaces?

Some brilliant, well thought out discussions, attacks and defences finished off proceedings. Points were eloquently explained – with just enough heat to make it respectfully exciting! This year’s debate was one of the very best.

In the final vote, the motion was defeated with 39% in favour, compared with 60% against (and one abstainer).

Head of English Bob Shelley reflected enthusiastically on the event: “I was so proud of our four speakers – they showed poise, wit, intelligence and persuasive power! Getting up in front of 200 people and delivering a speech is a daunting prospect for many an adult; these children are gaining confidence, along with hugely valuable skills for life.  I was equally proud of our audience – the 200 or so Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils who listened so carefully and then asked such pertinent questions before casting their individual votes.  Here’s to the promotion of strong, democratic values!”