Building on the success of the previous RCPsych in Wales Young Peoples Mental Health Debates, this year’s debate delivered a high standard of engagement, content and delivery. Eight schools from the Newport area took part and they were represented by 10 pupils from each school supporting their debating team.
The motion ‘This house believes that good exam results are critical to success’ provided a relevant theme for a stimulating debate.
For the motion -
‘the boost from doing well in exams increases my wellbeing’
‘by achieving high grades society will respect you’
‘exam success results in job opportunities and money’
Against the motion –
‘success is a personal endeavour’
‘being self-motivated is better than many exams’
‘I will not be defined by exam results’
Prizes were awarded to:
The winning team – from Bassaleg School. The debaters held the audience’s attention with their novel presentation which was interlaced with humour. They confidently outlined very good arguments both for and against the motion.
Best speaker – Max from St Joseph’s High School who spoke against the motion. He excellently presented his considered arguments and viewpoints in an original rap which included the phrase ‘School was made for real life experiences; I see a teacher saying your grade but I’d rather see the teacher saying your great’.
In line with the Welsh Government’s curriculum reforms, schools should be encouraged to raise awareness and engage pupils in a range of topics related to good mental health and wellbeing in each year group. The RCPsych in Wales Primary Schools and Secondary Schools Mental Health Debates are providing further opportunities to support and strengthen this priority.
Summary provided by Veryan Richards
Collaborative approaches to improve mental health in schools
The mental health debate for young people formed an excellent addition to our joint education conference with the National Association of Head Teachers.