Two Ampleforth College teams had a very early start on Wednesday morning to travel up to St Andrews University to participate in the JS Mill Cup - a tournament in which teams of secondary school students match wits with each other discussing ethical issues of public concern. 

This unique event isn't a debating competition and isn’t won by proving the opposing side wrong; rather, it’s a collaborative discussion, and the winning team is the one that best displays the virtues of insightfulness, thoughtfulness and civility. Read more about the concept of this competition here.  

Our team made up of Will, Jared, Tom, Lizzie and Flavian did well but came up against some stiff opposition in the group stages, however the St John's team, made up of Nic, James, Christian, Fergus and Murdoch did superbly, winning all three of their 'matches' during the group stage of the tournament.  This saw them discussing the ethical issues surrounding topics as diverse as: the 'Google tax'; self-driving cars; extradition; shooting galleries; the 'brain drain'; and the media coverage of terrorism.  They then progressed to a closely contested semi-final against Wellington School, Ayr, where the issues of fake news on social media, and burka bans were aired.  Unfortunately, Wellington School were judged to be the winners of this by two judges' votes to one, however there was no shame in this, as Wellington then went on to win the whole competition.  This is the first year that we have entered the Cup, and Mrs Pepper is already planning to make our entry next year bigger and better so watch this space!

After the Cup ended, the students had time to explore St Andrews University and the town and spent the night in university accommodation.  This was a wonderful experience as several of them are intending to apply there for degree level study.

Many thanks to Mr Hudson and Mrs Carter for taking the students to the Cup, and to Mrs Pepper for her work in preparing them beforehand.