On Tuesday 5th February, Mr Barber escorted two of the sixth form French linguists to Whitgift School, Croydon to take part in the annual French Debating Competition.

Both participants, Pietro (upper sixth) and Emilia (lower sixth) were keen to get started after the rigorous preparation carried out via the assistance of Madame Ni-Cheallaigh, our French assistant. Pietro was also keen to return to the same event in which he participated last year, thirsty for success, and to overcome those that beat Emanuel in the competition 12 previous.

With straightforward victories against the likes of Whitgift and Sutton Grammar in the initial heats, the Emanuel pairing quickly accelerated into the semi-finals of the competition. However, the next round saw Emanuel placed in a competitive group amongst St Mary’s Ascot and Alleyn’s School. Whilst St Mary’s School took the more aggressive stance in their battle in the debating arena, it was Alleyn’s who finished in first place – not only in this leg of the semi-finals but also to go on to be crowned champions.

The semi-final finish for Emanuel was yet again testament to the refined level of debating skills and range of ideas, counter-arguments and depth of subject knowledge which both participants displayed on the day. It was an excellent opportunity for both students to challenge themselves in French beyond the limitations of the A level curriculum and to see students of a similar age from other schools verbalise their thoughts in French and the range of expression and vocabulary which they employ. This is not only a great event for languages at Emanuel but also to enthuse our students to envisage what may be in store for them if they continue with a languages degree at undergraduate level.

My thanks go to all of the French department for their help and enthusiasm in preparing both students for the competition.

Mr Barber (Head of Modern Foreign Languages)