Congratulations to the Heritage Debate Club, who placed second in their heat during the English-Speaking Union’s Schools’ Mace competition on 14 January. The Mace Cup is one of the oldest and largest debating competitions for schools in England, offering students from Years 7-13 the opportunity to discuss and debate controversial topics and current affairs.
During the competition, Livia (Y9) and Maisie (Y8) were tasked with opposing the resolution that ‘Government economic policy should prioritise the collective happiness and well-being of the population over economic growth.’ They competed against area teams from St Benedict’s school, The Perse School, and County Upper School, and ended in a very close second only to St Benedict’s – an accomplishment that is even more impressive when considering that they were competing mainly against Year 10 and 11 pupils. Heritage Year 9 pupil and team member Millie was also instrumental in preparing for the debate, and was part of the analytical thinking that made the victory possible.
On 20 January, the pupils also participated in the Mace Cup heat for schools located in West London. As a swing team, they were ineligible to advance to the next round but were very pleased with their performance and with the opportunity to debate further.
Debate club coach Rachel Mariner, a Heritage parent volunteer who debated competitively and placed nationally during her time at American university, says ‘It’s been a privilege to watch them wrestle with ideas and articulate their thinking. I really liked seeing their ambition unfold and the hard work and thought that went into serving it.’
In preparing, the team focused on listening and silence. Ms Mariner describes this as ‘The importance of listening to the opponent to really understand what they are saying and living in the moment. And tolerance of their own silence. There is a moment in every competitive debate where you stand up and you don’t know what you are going to say and your mind goes blank and you can panic. But we worked on being patient with yourself in that moment, even happy, because in that silence your brain is literally growing.’
Well done to both coach and team; we look forward to hearing about your future learning and successes!