Newham pupils debate teachers in preparation for finals

Maryland Primary School debate

Maryland Primary School debate - Credit: Archant

Homework has long been a point of argument between pupils and teachers, and that didn’t change when Maryland Primary School’s debate team took on a group of staff members to discuss just that.

Youngsters at the Gurney Road, Stratford, school proposed that homework should be banned whilst their teachers on the other side formed the opposition and argued against the motion.

The pupils argued that homework increases stress levels in children and takes away time for hobbies and socialising, which should be prioritised outside of the classroom as this impacts on student wellbeing.

They added homework was banned this would help with sustainability by saving paper.

The teachers countered these claims by pointing out that homework increases levels of independence, consolidates learning that has taken place during the week in class, and it increases brain power.

Assistant headteacher, Darren Lock, said the debate became very heated and was very difficult to judge.

He said: “Overall the children won. They demonstrated confidence beyond their years and at one point a year five pupil even declined the headteacher’s interjection – politely of course.

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“They had good structured points and could respond on their feet to the points raised by the adult team.”

Friday’s pupil vs teacher debate was organised in preparation for the school’s participation in the Debate Mate final tomorrow (Thurs), at UEL’s Stratford campus, which the pupils have been preparing for throughout the year.

“Over the last few months they’ve had 3 rounds of debate and they’ve won every single one,” said Darren.

The year five and six pupils will also write a blog about the finals at