Weekly News February 18th 2022

Debating in CBS Mitchelstown

CBS Secondary School has a long and successful track record when it comes to debating, especially in the Concern Schools’ Debating competition. It is the school’s belief that debating instils core aspects of what an in-depth, rich and effective educational experience has to offer: the ability to explore, understand and synthesise opposing viewpoints so as ensure a deep understanding of a topic; the ability to focus ideas in a coherent and logical manner, so as to ensure  consistency and cohesion, and the ability to communicate these ideas in a manner that embodies effectual oratory through engagement, energy and even on occasion enlightenment. These aspects of education are very much catered for across the curricular spectrum in the CBS, while debating allows a public platform with which to harness these skills.

The Concern Debating Competition is a particularly favoured endeavour in the school both for the high standard in which the students are expected to compete, and the exceedingly relevant topics up for debate. This year, under the themes of climate change, world hunger, reducing income inequality and wellbeing, the students were tasked with exploring motions that looked at active citizenship, the role of governments and transnational organisations, the concept of responsibility regarding billionaires and vaccine equity. The school team debated the specific motions “School strikes are an effective way of getting governments to act on Climate Change”; “The challenges to ending world hunger are insurmountable”, and “It is simply wrong for billionaires like Bezos, Branson and Musk to ‘joyride’ to space with so many problems back on earth”. Each debate challenged the students to critically analyse these topical issues, often from perspectives not personally held, thus enabling in-depth critical thinking through synthesis. In our current world of “alternative facts” and misinformation, this is a skill that is incredibly beneficial for life.

The school’s debating mentor, Mr John O’Neill, has been instrumental in ensuring that the students walked into every debate prepared and confident. Hence, while the group were unlucky to have just missed out on the next round this year, as a new team, aligned with the expertise of their mentor, there is certainty that they are a team to watch for next year’s competition and beyond.

Picture One: the debating team: (ltor) Seamus Murphy, Fionn Hanrahan, Gabriel Casey and Cathal Walsh

Picture Two: Congratulations to our U14 basketball players on their comprehensive win over our neighbours here in Mitchelstown, Coláiste Fionnchua.  (final score: 34-8)

Picture Three: Thanks to Movie Magic for their TY workshop, which proved to be a very popular and enjoyable again this year . Fantastic movies were made and some budding actors were born!

Picture Four: Well done to all recipients of the Positive Behaviour Awards, who had a fantastic Friday Fun Day last week! We feel it is imperative to reward students who exemplify what it means to work effectively in school through effort, amicability and a positive attitude. 

Picture Five and Six: A fantastic performance in basketball was evidenced last Friday with both the Junior and Minor teams winning their respective matches in Doneraile against Nagle Rice Secondary School.  The Junior team finished on a final score of 27-19, with the Minor team winning 36-3

Picture Seven: Well done to the U14 hurlers in their challenge match against a strong Hospital team today. While the lads came up short on the day, their perseverance and endurance was incredibly promising for great days ahead!