Students shine in debating contest

Pupils at Ormiston Sudbury Academy came second in a national debating competition at the Oxford Union. Pictured from left; Corey  Willings, 15, Callum Cansdale, 14, Lewis Sharman, 15, Molly Cutmore, 15, Jasmine Sawyer, 15, Tabitha Skeats,  15, Chris Starkey, 14, Eve Brooks-Parkin, 14, and Hannah Kelly, 14.
Pupils at Ormiston Sudbury Academy came second in a national debating competition at the Oxford Union. Pictured from left; Corey Willings, 15, Callum Cansdale, 14, Lewis Sharman, 15, Molly Cutmore, 15, Jasmine Sawyer, 15, Tabitha Skeats, 15, Chris Starkey, 14, Eve Brooks-Parkin, 14, and Hannah Kelly, 14.

Ormiston Sudbury Academy pupils finished second in a national debating competition at the world famous Oxford Union recently.

The renowned debating venue – known since the days of Gladstone as the training ground of prime ministers and a magnet for visiting dignitaries – saw the students compete against other schools from the nationwide Ormiston Academies Trust.

Subjects as diverse as ‘should children be allowed to vote’ and ‘should celebrities be given harsher prison sentences’ in the heats saw the Sudbury team pull ahead of the pack and secure their place in the final round of the event.

In the end, they were pipped into second place by a team from Great Yarmouth.

Director of humanities David Grocott, who led the trip to Oxford, said: “I couldn’t have been more proud of our students.

“They really raised the bar and displayed the agility of mind and tenacity of delivery you would expect at such a prestigious event.

“We have some outstanding students and it was wonderful to watch them shine in such a respected venue.”

Mr Grocott said the team would now be looking for fresh challenges.

“We can’t wait for the next debate,” added team member Eve Brooks-Parkin.

The team was comprised of Corey Willings, Callum Cansdale, Lewis Sharman, Molly Cutmore, Jasmine Sawyer, Tabitha Skeats, Chris Starkey, Eve Brooks-Parkin and Hannah Kelly, all aged 14 or 15.