Debating truly matters at Oriel High School in Crawley, where a group of dedicated students, along with a couple of teachers, have created an after-school club where they could speak up their mind about anything under the sun. How it all started? With a shy idea, a definite ‘Yes!’ from the Sixth Form team and the English Department and some brainstorming.

‘We wanted to create the job to start a discussion. There are current affairs that we don't get to explore in class, so the debate club gives the opportunity to students of all stages to express their opinions,’ said Mhari, a year 13 student.

And indeed, within their only 3 debate sessions so far, they have had the chance to raise their arguments regarding truly controversial issues, such as the possibility of achieving a utopian world, gender fluidity and whether monarchy should be abolished or not. And even though these themes seem to be quite complex even for sixth formers, younger students (ranging from year 7 to year 11) were not afraid, but even more eager to share their opinion with the group.

The result? Over 20 students turned up at the first session, and the debate club didn’t cease to have success since! This was shown by the positive attitude and feedback from the club members, as well as from the teachers. ‘The fact that the students have continued to talk about the topics discussed within the debate session outside of class is what makes the club a success,’ affirmed Mr Myson, English Teacher at Oriel.

Elliot Orsborn, student in year 11, is also enthusiastic about the debate club: ‘I really quite enjoyed the activity in which we discussed gender fluidity and the issues surrounding it,' the student affirmed. ‘I was able to listen to the perspectives of people of many different ages and backgrounds, for example my teacher! It was a really interesting discussion, especially the fact that we were able to criticise and amend quotes from the media, as well as to evaluate them.’

That's a small step for Oriel High School, but one giant leap for the new generation of open-minded millennials. Congratulations to the club and all the best for the future!