Joutes Oratoires, a fun French experience! Robert Chapple CH school

The competition has been organized by the French National Institute in London for over a decade; Topics of the past have included “Nuclear energy is the energy of the future”, “Artists should receive a minimum income from the state” and “The work is inextricably linked to the artist who produced it”.

This year’s themes were ‘Maths should be compulsory for Abitur/le bac (in France),’ ‘The art market has corrupted the art world’ and ‘The police are overarmed – we should disarm the country’s guardians/peace (in France).

Each debate consisted of two students from one school competing against another pair from another school, according to the English Debating Society’s debating rules, which include the most exciting part of the event – ‘la lutte acharnée’ (bitter fight). where both teams have the opportunity to respond to something (the whole event takes place in French) while defending their position on the request in real time.

Christ’s Hospital School’s participation in this event required a great deal of preparation, with the school’s French assistant, Estelle Maurel, working tirelessly with the students in the weeks leading up to the event to refine their arguments but also to prepare them for what was to come most agreed to speak French for the first time at such a prestigious competition.

Traveling by train and taxi to Whitgift School, Team 1 of Polly-Anna Ward and Daphne Fieldhouse and Team 2 of Charlene Murua and Robert Chapple along with the Head of the French Department Mr Simon Hollands and French Assistant Estelle Maurel and prepared to to take over the debate.

Unfortunately, the results weren’t quite CH’s way as the judges ruled in favor of the other contestants in the competitions, all of which were extremely competitive. However, the teams were praised by the judges for their structure and the teamwork they brought to the competition.

Competitor Pollyanna Ward said after the competition it was “an engaging debate and a great opportunity to practice French”.

Although they may have been apprehensive before the event, after the competition all students commented that they had enjoyed the opportunity and the Year 12 students expressed their desire to compete again next year.

The participants were very grateful to their teachers for their hard work and Whitgift for the hosts; Overall it was a great experience for everyone! Joutes Oratoires, a fun French experience! Robert Chapple CH school

Fry Electronics Team

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