We have a thriving Debating Society which is part of the DEBATEMATE programme and is highly successful in local and regional competitions. Pupils take part in debating competitions and receive coaching from skilled debaters. They also have the opportunity to visit prestigious venues throughout the year.
We have debating skills embedded throughout our curriculum and. This gives children great accountability for their learning, as well as allowing them to deploy and develop their oracy skills.
Debating skills are a valuable and important asset for pupils to learn in school for several reasons.
Academic and Professional Excellence:
Debating helps pupils develop strong critical thinking and analytical skills, which are essential for academic and professional excellence. By participating in debates, pupils learn to analyse complex issues, construct arguments, and defend their positions with evidence and reason. These skills are useful not only in academic contexts but also in professional settings, where the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively is highly valued.
Enhances Research Skills:
Debating also enhances pupils’ research skills. When preparing for a debate, students must conduct thorough research on their chosen topic, which involves finding and evaluating reliable sources of information. This research helps pupils develop their ability to gather and analyse information, a skill that is useful in many areas of life, including academic and professional settings.
Develops Problem-Solving Skills:
Debating is also an effective way to develop problem-solving skills. By engaging in debates, pupils learn to identify problems, analyse different perspectives, and propose solutions. This process requires creativity, flexibility, and the ability to think on one’s feet, all of which are valuable skills in many contexts.
Increases Emotional Intelligence:
Debating can also increase emotional intelligence. By participating in debates, pupils learn to communicate effectively with others, listen actively, and empathize with different perspectives. This helps pupils develop greater self-awareness, self-regulation, and social awareness, all of which are important components of emotional intelligence.
Debating can boost pupils’ confidence. By learning to construct and defend arguments, pupils gain greater self-confidence in their abilities to express themselves and communicate effectively. This confidence can spill over into other areas of their lives, including academic, social, and professional contexts.
At Vicarage we believe that school trips are an essential part of a child’s education and as such we try to provide a variety of opportunities for children to have a broad range of experiences.
Alongside our usual day trips to central London locations such as the British Museum, London Zoo, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum (to name just a few), and trips to the seaside in the summer term we arrange residential visits for our KS2 pupils.
Fair Play House
Are Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to attend a residential visit to FairPlay House in Essex. FairPlay House is owned by the London Borough of Newham is an outdoor education centre which provides land and water based activities and is set on 12 acres of land in Witham, which is about an hour’s drive from London.
During this week pupils participate in a range of outdoor activities including archery, high ropes, orienteering, giant swing and a night walk- building their resilience, independence and confidence. It is always an amazing experience.
The Poetry Retreat is part of our Year 5 curriculum at Vicarage, an opportunity for our pupils to explore the great outdoors (in locations such as the New Forest and the South Downs) and explore their creative potential and develop a deeper appreciation for language and literature.
The Poetry Retreats are led and facilitated by Jonny Walker, a former Elmhurst teacher, and Adisa the Verbaliser, a performance poet extraordinaire. Children write together and contribute towards an anthology which is then published.
For many children, this is their first residential visit away from home, and it proves to be a transformative chance to learn more about themselves, about nature and about what it means to be a poet.
This experience helps children build confidence, improve their communication skills, and foster a love of learning that will serve them well throughout their academic and personal lives. By going on a poetry retreat, pupils develop a deeper understanding of the power of words and the beauty of language, and gain a valuable creative outlet that can help them express themselves in unique and meaningful ways.
The Iliad Project
Pupils in Year 5 explore some of the world’s oldest literature in fresh and lively ways.
All Year 5 classes take part in The Iliad Project, led by Jonny Walker. Pupils learn about Greek mythology, classical poetry and the story of the Trojan War. The sessions include a mix of literature study, drama and philosophical enquiry, and there are some very strange things going on.
This means that with our ambitious approach to English, our children have the right to explore these important stories, combine them with stories from our own cultures, and be a part of the age-old traditions of the storyteller.