The original Reading and Debating Society was established in 1901; however, for reasons lost to the mysteries of time, Headmaster Ernest Charles Harries disbanded the society in 1926. Almost immediately, he founded the “Phoenix Society,” which has been fostering the development of young minds for nearly a century. Today, Phoenix Society debates are held every second week, delving into various topics from Space Travels to Plus Size models.
In the present day, topical issues differ from those in the mid-1900s, yet the society has retained its traditions, striking a perfect balance between modern interests and the enduring character of the Phoenix Society. The use of formal language, a gavel and a structured voting procedure renders the experience of speaking for or against a motion, or even attending the debate, exceptionally special.
Any Sixth Form student can advocate for the opposition or proposition on any motion, contributing to the distinctiveness and fascination of the Phoenix Debates. Attendees also have the opportunity to deliver a short speech expressing their opinions on the topic. The Phoenix Society provides a fabulous opportunity for Sixth Form students to cultivate their leadership qualities by taking on roles such as President or Secretary, thereby assuming responsibility for the successful execution of the debates.
Dr. McKerrow, the teacher representative of the Phoenix Society, states, “The Phoenix Society allows students interested in the world around them to engage in debates, question, and discuss issues they find important.
Pictured: Mr McKerrow and Madame President.