New & Noteworthy
Pathways School Gurgaon conducted the first edition of competitive World School debating, following the prestigious association with The Indian Schools Debating Society (ISDS). The ISDS has had an enduring association with many of the top schools of the country, some of which have represented India in international debating competitions like the World Schools Debating Championship.
The event hosted in Pathways School Gurgaon on 6 and 7 March 2016, saw participation from 16 schools across Delhi NCR, who participated in three rigorous rounds of Debating. The event commenced with a workshop for teachers and students on the first day of the event conducted by ISDS visiting members Amrita Varshini and Abhilash. During the workshop the students were apprised of the format of debating and imparted knowledge about speaker roles in a debate. Fun games played alongside, underscored the use of effective vocabulary with an understanding of audience and purpose. In addition, the simulation debate activities conducted through the day bolstered the importance of critical thinking and effective communication, two key skills from the 6 of the MYP ATL skills.
The English Faculty along with the English support department, received a crash course in adjudicating a World School debate. Being the IB English facilitators at Pathways, the criteria of debate assessment- content, style and strategy were not new concepts. However, the transfer of these known skills for adjudging a formal debate, captured the attention of all the participant teachers. The teachers listened to the instructions given with rapt attention and queried the visiting faculty on various aspects of debating. The ground for a competitive debate session was laid by the end of day 1.
After the students of the host school and the visiting schools were divided in mixed teams on day two, the debate tournament began amidst frenzy and anxious moments with many of the students being first time debaters. The topics revolved around the burning questions of development aid to dictators, the need for civilian nuclear energy to the proposition of streaming students based on academic ability. The proposition and opposition teams fought tooth and nail to assert the validity of their arguments and persuade the adjudicators. In the end, five students- Vishwakrit Choradia, Aakriti Tiwari(Pathways Gurgaon), Mahim( Vasant Valley School N.Delhi) ,Yastika(Sanskriti School,N.Delhi), Dhruv( Heritage School Gurgaon) won over the adjudicators with their refined elocution , dexterous argumentation and grit. These final five winners will now represent the North region in the National Camp to be held in Chennai from 9 April- 13 April,2017. During the camp, they will be trained by the Harvard University certified trainers.
Through this maiden edition of debate tournament, not only have Pathwaysians upped their learning quotient , they have also forged better connections with the world around them, which is the linchpin of IB education.
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