St Joseph's Catholic Primary School were crowned winners of the inaugural Elizabethan Academy Debating Competition this month, narrowly defeating Harworth Church of England Academy in a hard fought final.
The competition was organised by the Elizabethan following its success in the nationwide "Up For Debate" competition last year, where the school won the regional heats and represented the East Midlands at the national finals held at prestigious Harrow School.
A total of eight teams took part in the Elizabethan Competition, with each school nominating two Year 5 students to represent them. Two prepared debates in the morning, on the topics of junk food and books v. films, were followed by a series of workshops to allow pupils to hone their debating skills. A third, unprepared debate, on the thorny issue of "pocket money... but only in return for doing chores" required the young debaters really to think on their feet.
The final saw the teams from Harworth and St Josephs debate on the topic of "town versus countryside", with compelling arguments put forward by both teams. Anashe Rugoyi and Joshua Oprych from St Josephs spoke in favour of the countryside, citing the health benefits of living in the country as opposed to pollution-ridden cities. Ava Wilson and Isaac Moulds from Harworth used better employment, education and entertainment opportunities to support their arguments in favour of living in a city.
Academy Principal, Christine Horrocks, said she was delighted with the way the young debaters had embraced the event. "Our success in the national competition has really motivated our students to take part in events such as these, and we are delighted to share our passion for debating with primary pupils. All of those chosen to represent their schools should be very proud of themselves."