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Pupils On The Road to Success In Oxford Debate Competition

Pupils On The Road to Success In Oxford Debate Competition

Two Yarm School pupils are celebrating success after making it through to the final of the prestigious Oxford Schools Debate Competition.

Each year the Oxford Union invite over a thousand pupils aged 14-18 from across the world to take part in the world’s largest British Parliamentary school-level debate competition and the largest debating competition in the UK: the Oxford Schools Debate Competition.

The competition gives students the opportunity to practise their debating skills, including public speaking, thoughtful argumentation and analytical problem solving.

Eight pupils from our Debating Society paired up and took part in the North of England regional round. The competition detailed two motions for debate, the first ‘This House believes doctors should be able to lie to patients for their well-being’ and the second ‘This House supports the narrative that one’s identity determines the validity of one’s views on social justice issues’.

Fifth Year pupils Parul Sinha and William Craggs made it through to the final in March which will take place online. They will compete against around 120 top performing schools from the UK, Ireland and international rounds.

The judges gave Parul and Will positive feedback following the first motion and suggested they should use more time and tackle opposition points more directly. Both pupils responded to the advice, and implemented it in the second round, helping them to secure the win.

​Parul said: “We had a lot of fun taking part in the Oxford Schools Debate Competition, and I’m delighted we can now compete in the final. The competition gave us a chance to showcase our debating skills, as well as receive constructive feedback to help us improve our technique.”

Will said: “Parul and I have always enjoyed the combative nature of school debate and it was interesting to pit our wits against people from different schools. I am so pleased to have been chosen for the final out of so many brilliant contestants.”

Mr Adam Bridges, Languages Teacher said: “This was the first time the pupils competed at this level and all eight did brilliantly. The Yarm Debating Society comes together once a week to hold varied impassioned and respectful debates and I am extremely proud of all the pupils for using the skills they have learnt during these sessions.

Parul and Will worked together effectively and made strong arguments. I am looking forward to seeing them in action at the final in March and wish them luck.”