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Debating team win trophy in national competition

A team from Havering Sixth Form College beat off strong competition from private and funded schools around the UK to win the History Matters Debating Competition held at Cambridge University.

The team of four students, pictured left to right with the trophy - Alexandria Blackwell, Steven Gjegji, Shanna Bromberg and Callum Flynn – had to research and then articulate an argument in front of a small audience and a judging panel.

They travelled to Cambridge University with History Course Leader Penny Jackson and were drawn to face a team from St Ivo School Sixth Form, in Cambridgeshire.

The history students had to research and then present a debate on: ‘Nuclear weapons helped to make the world safer between 1945 and 1951’. St Ivo spoke for the motion and Havering Sixth Form College spoke against the motion.

Other schools taking part included Oakwood Park Grammar School from Maidstone, Kent and Coopers Company & Coborn School, from Upminster.

The Havering Sixth Form team won their debate against St Ivo and were also judged to have presented the best research and spoken performance out of all the participating teams.

The competition was organised by Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge and is designed to encourage students to develop both their historical research skills and debating confidence. 

Penny Jackson said: “I’m really proud of the students – they did a great job. To beat other private and funded schools and win the trophy was a fantastic achievement.”

Student Alexandria said: “We thought the construction of our debate went well but then the questions from the audience and the judges took a long time and were quite tough. We were surprised when we found out we had won!”


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