The Debate Club at Keswick School has received much success these last few years and has often been described by students and staff as one of the “busiest non-sports clubs” in the school. 

It was started in 2016 by a group of Sixth Formers, including the older siblings of a few of the current Year 13 members. Open to all year groups in the school, the club meets every Friday lunchtime in one of the Humanities classrooms. It actually had to move locations to a bigger classroom at the start of this year to fit everyone in! 

During the meetings, a debate is put forward to the members, which focuses on a specific motion (for example, “This House believes that the pink tax should be removed”). Two debaters then each give a speech that argues either for or against the motion. The debate is then opened up to the floor and anyone can voice their opinion on the motion and debate with other members. At the end of the meeting, a vote is taken, during which members can vote for or against the motion or, alternatively, abstain. 

This parliament-like style of debating gives students a taste for the world of democracy and politics, whilst giving any budding politicians or lawyers a chance to develop their skills in verbal debate. But the club has a fun side too; some of the past motions have been titled 'THB that being small is better than being tall', ‘THB that pineapple belongs on pizza’ and there was even a festive-themed debate about the best Christmas film of all time in December. The club also has its own lectern!

The Debate Club has become one of the most popular extracurricular clubs, with members ranging from Year 7 to Year 13. Currently, Year 13 students Olivia Marsden and Poppy Slater run the Debate Club and have done since Year 12. They joined the club in Year 7 when it first started and have continued to be members since. When asked whether Debate Club has been successful, Olivia replied “Very! Obviously, during Covid we weren’t able to hold meetings and there was all the uncertainty. But, now, some weeks we have more than 40 students!” 

Olivia believes that Debate Club is important because it “gives students a chance to have a voice. It’s a place where people can voice their thoughts and opinions in a structured and polite way.” Speaking to another Debate Club member, Sixth Former Lauren Woodham, she confirmed that the club is definitely one of the “best” in the school and that, every week, everyone looks forward to the Friday meetings as an enjoyable learning, as well as social, environment.