In order to help improve their communication, debating and public speaking skills, this week, Year 6 pupils were tasked with debating the motion “Should Primary Schools have vending machines?”

The group in favour of the motion put forward a number of arguments to explain why they thought vending machines should be in schools, such as the fact that the machine would be good for pupils who may have forgotten their morning snack. They also talked about the need to ensure the products on offer were healthy and suggested that any profits could be donated to charity.

The group opposing the motion contested that vending machines typically are not healthy in what they offer. They argued that this could contribute to bad eating habits, childhood obesity and a lack of focus – all of which should not be encouraged by a school. They also pointed out that vending machines can be expensive and unreliable at times.

Mrs Thomas, Debate Chair, was very impressed with both groups and the fact that they had incorporated some very persuasive statistics in their arguments. The final conclusion was that the debate ended in a draw, as neither group had put forward a weak argument so no winner could be decided.

The debate was a fantastic event providing our Year 6 pupils with an opportunity to gain confidence in speaking and sharing their opinions with others, as well as developing their ability to present a balanced argument. At the same time, it also helped them to understand and appreciate the importance of listening to and respecting different points of view. All of which are essential skills for life.