“This House believes Saturday School for Years 6, 7 and 8 is positive and beneficial and should be retained.”

It was very fitting that the Year 8 Great Debate took place last Saturday, because the motion that pupils were considering was whether they should have academic lessons on Saturdays or not. Earlier in the week, a ‘pre-vote’ was taken to gauge opinions: 49% had voted for a change from the current system of having academic lessons / Saturday School; just 41% voted to keep our current system; 10% were undecided.

Paddy Benson and Pippa Salisbury, who were against the motion, presented a very strong case with the lure of the ‘lie in’ and family weekend trips. However, the floor was convinced by the very persuasive arguments for Saturday School from Nathan Kenshall and Beth Rogers, pointing out the downsides, such as shorter summer holidays, pupils potentially letting their teams down by not turning up, and the disruption to boarders.

Head of English, Bob Shelley, commented: “What a fascinating debate we had! I was really proud of the four Year 8s who spoke – they were very passionate and very eloquent! Added to that, the questions presented to them by the pupils of Year 7 and 8 showed that all 140 pupils in our senior two year groups had put real thought into the issue under discussion. That’s what debating at DCPS is all about!”

The final scores on the doors were 71 % of Years 7 and 8 voting to maintain our current system and just 28% voting for change. Well done to both teams for creating such an interesting debate.