We recently organised and hosted a new debating competition which will become an annual fixture: the Ayrshire Debating Cup.

S4-6 pupils from schools across the country were invited to Wellington for a full day of debating.  Topics included whether parents should encourage their children to debate, the likelihood of the SNP being the largest party at the next parliamentary election and the merits of being an only child.

We welcomed teams from a broad geographical area, including St. Columba’s School, Broxburn Academy and the High School of Glasgow.  Even Strathallan School in Perth made the journey down – an admirable feat in itself!

Students from Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, including former Wellington pupils, joined forces to run the event alongside Mr. Howie, Head of English and Debating. 

Our Wellington speakers enjoyed success on the day – Katie and Mia (both S6) performed superbly to make it to the Silver Final, where they went on to claim victory.  Milla and Lingling (both S4) also made it to the Silver Final and were the overall top two novice speakers respectively.  

Following her win, Mia reflects: “As this was my first proper debating competition I had initial feelings of apprehension, however my teammate Katie, the other competitors and the organisational staff all made it a very enjoyable and educational experience. Debating teaches unique skills, like the ability to look past your own opinions to become more open-minded when debating a topic you might not necessarily agree with. I really would encourage as many pupils as possible to take part in events like the Ayrshire Debating Cup, as it is open to pupils from all schools in Scotland, regardless of experience. Overall, I felt very happy with our Silver Final win and I’m enthusiastic to debate more in the future”.

Congratulations go to Sophie and Callum (both S6) from St. Columba’s School, who won the Gold Final and are the inaugural winners of the trophy – which features a unique design created by Matthew, an S2 Wellington pupil. 

We plan to expand the event next year and host a greater number of schools, including from the local area.  Any schools or pupils interested in taking part are more than welcome to get in touch for further information.