Chatty Lambeth students from Bishop Thomas Grant School in Streatham talked their way to top prize at this year’s school debating competition.
Six schools in total took part and debated issues like whether the X-factor had a negative effect on musical creativity, and whether it’s ever right to break the law for a cause you believe in.
The children, who were in year groups 10 and 11, all performed well and used the competition as an opportunity to develop their public speaking skills.
Retiring Lambeth Mayor Cllr Dr Neeraj Patil, who opened the competition, congratulated everyone who took part.
He said: “Debate and public speaking are central to our democracy and plays a huge part in decision-making here at the council, so we are always delighted to stage this competition and give our young people an opportunity to develop their own skills in this area.”
The competition was judged by Lambeth councillors, Councillor John Whelan, Councillor Jeremy Clyne and Councillor Leanne Targett-Parker; and Francis Evans QC of 1 Grays Inn Square.
The winners were a very strong team, who impressed the judging panel with their confidence, their style and content and their teamwork. They had researched their topic well and were very passionate about the subject.
The team from Bishop Thomas Grant School won a cheque for £200 and a trophy for their school, plus £40 in book vouchers each. They also won a week of work experience to be divided between the barristers’ chambers at 1 Grays Inn Square and Lambeth Council’s legal services team, which organised the competition.
The runners-up were a group from St Martin in the Fields High School for Girls in Tulse Hill, who won a cheque for £150 for their school plus £20 in book vouchers each.