Congratulations to Holly Harrison who was wonderfully persuasive, winning the most votes from the House, and succeeding in convicting Father!
2014-2015 proved to be a very successful and rewarding year for Dalriada’s Debating Society! Under the instruction of Miss Turner and Thomas Hancock, the society continued to meet at lunchtime – every other Friday – to examine, discuss and contest important (and sometimes not so important!) ideas.
Some of the motions this year included: This House believes men are the weaker sex, This House would censor the internet and This House believes sportspeople should not be seen as role models. And, of course, one of the highlights of the year was the Staff-Pupil debate which saw Chris McLean and Mr Gamble take on – and beat – the mighty Dr Hunter and Thomas Hancock!
Nine members of the Dalriada Debating Society are to leave this Thursday for the National Finals of the European Youth Parliament competition. Sixteen teams – each champions in their own region – will come together at Liverpool Hope University for four days of discussion and debate on the key issues that affect the European Union. Dalriada’s representatives – Susanna Peden, Emma Jones, Parisa Robinson, Lilli Meldrum, Manon Eymere, Robbie Craig, Calum Telfer, Ryan Ennis and Mark Scott – will assume the role of the EU Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and will take part in debates on topics as varied as human trafficking, Europe’s relations with Brazil, and stem cell research. They will also take part in a series of team-building exercises designed to create a sense of intellectual and social cohesion between the various debaters, including a karaoke session and a Beatles-themed party. The nine Dalriads are hoping to build on the success of last year’s team, who came third, and lift the title in Liverpool on Sunday evening. If they are victorious, they will go on to compete in a final, Europe-wide competition in either Portugal or Lativa. Team captain, Susanna Peden, is looking forward to the challenge: ‘I’m really excited about EYP next week. It’s an amazing opportunity to become involved is issues that affect us as a nation, whilst also meeting new people and having fun’. Team vice-captain, Emma Jones, is equally enthusiastic: ‘I can’t wait for next week. We’ve been preparing all summer and now I just want to be there’. The team would like to thank Mr Sunny Ghaie, of Waterside Superstores, Coleraine, who generously sponsored the team and provided it with rugby shirts bearing the team members’names and the school crest.
The Dalriada Debating Society has a membership of almost 50 pupils drawn from Years 11 to 14 and runs debates on a fortnightly basis in D3. The topics discussed are an eclectic mix of political, social and humorous issues and are chaired by members of the society. Amongst the topics debated over the last year have been ‘this house believes that it is right to torture terrorist suspects’, ‘this house believes that Homer Simpson is the ideal male role model’, and ‘this house believes in love at first sight’. The debates themselves are lively and entertaining, and provide the pupils with an additional social outlet as well as with the communication and public-speaking skills that so many universities and employers value. As an incentive, those who participate in debates are awarded a society badge and each month the single best contributor is awarded the ‘Arguendo Cup’ in recognition of his or her achievements.
The European Youth Parliament is an adjunct of the Debating Society. It consists of a group of between 9 and 11 debaters who take part in the annual session of the Northern Ireland European Youth Parliament.
Amongst the honours won by the Dalriada Debating Society in recent years have been the Northern Ireland Debating Championship (2012), the Northern Ireland Debating Matters title (2011), and the Northern Ireland European Youth Parliament title (2012 and 2013).
Students from across Northern Ireland became MEPs for the day at the European Youth Parliament, which was hosted by Belfast Metropolitan College at its Titanic Quarter Campus on Thursday 21st March 2013.
Dalriada and Belfast Inst fought off strong competition to win the Northern Ireland regional final of the European Youth Parliament and will now represent Northern Ireland at the UK national session in Liverpool in September.
The five participating schools were Ballymena Academy, Dalriada School (Ballymoney), Royal Belfast Academical Institution (Belfast), Victoria College (Belfast) and Thornhill College (Derry~Londonderry).
Each of the schools, with a team of nine students, formed a committee and presented, explained and debated resolutions on a range of topical issues including health, culture,innovation, employment and the Eurozone.
Colette FitzGerald, Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland said: “I hope that the students not only learned about the workings of the European Parliament, but also gained an insight into some of the key issues currently being considered by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the European Commission in Brussels.”
Caitríona Hughes from the Northern Ireland European Youth Parliament Committee said: “In previous years the two winning schools from the NI European Forum have performed very well at the UK National Selection session and have been wonderful ambassadors for their schools and 3 Northern Irish schools have represented the UK at International Sessions. The experience they will gain will be of great benefit to them at University interviews and in life in general. We wish both schools well and hope this year to have one or both schools going through to the International Session in the Autumn.”
The EYP competition in Northern Ireland is organised by the NI European Youth Parliament Committee in partnership with the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland.
Ever since April of this year, when they triumphed in the Northern Ireland regionals, Dalriada’s European Youth Parliament team have been gearing up for an entirely new level of challenge: the National finals, held at Liverpool Hope University. Fourteen teams from across the UK, each having succeeded in their own areas, will come together for the next level of discussion, discourse and debate, speaking on issues that affect the world everyday, from the economy to Tibet, the Olympics to Turkey, asking the questions that need to be answered in today’s tumultuous climate. Dalriada School’s representatives are proud to rank amongst such a select group of young thinkers and debaters, each committee having proved their ability in prior rounds of rigorous debate with other schools from across the country.
Dalriada will be sending a team of ten students, each one an already established member of the highly accomplished and nationally lauded Dalriada Debating Society, to the National Championships:
Caitlin de Jode
There, they will spend four days taking part in a mix both of debates on resolutions touching upon a range of varied topics from across the EU, and a series of team-building exercises designed to lend a sense of friendship and intellectual cohesion between the teams. Should Dalriada’s team be held victorious in Liverpool, the team will go on to compete at the final round of debates in Munich.
Very special thanks are extended from the team to Waterside Superstores of Coleraine, who sponsored the team with the generous donation of a set of hoodies, proudly bearing the team members names and the school’s crest.
At the end of the spring term, ten lower sixth pupils competed in the regional finals of the European Youth Parliament In this debating competition Pupils become an MEP for the day and discuss issues of prevalence within the EU. The 2012 Northern Ireland Regional Session was held this year by Belfast Metropolitan College in its new building in the Titanic Quarter. The students and teachers were thrilled that the event was hosted in such a wonderful building and in such a special place. The Jury had a difficult task as all schools performed very well but the worthy winners were our Dalriada team and they will represent Northern Ireland and have the opportunity to become UK champions in September when they compete in the national final in Liverpool.