Winning debaters visit the real thing

On Wednesday the 23rd April the two winners and two runners up of the Wokingham Schools’ Parliamentary Debating Competition 2007 were treated to a day out in Westminster as part of their prize. Adam Connell and Dominic Lister, the two winners from Emmbrook School, were joined by Amber Anderson and Rebecca Knowlson of Luckley-Oakfield. After a cup of tea in Portcullis House, John Redwood gave a tour of the palace to the four students and their two teachers, Pam Pierce and Marie Pearce, guiding them through its history, from the medieval Westminster Hall to the impressively gilded nineteenth-century Lords chamber.

They then headed towards the Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions, where they were able to observe first-hand professional Parliamentary debaters pitting their wits against each other. The debate amongst the pupils over which of the party leaders got the upper hand continued into lunch, where the students and teachers enjoyed the delights of the Commons’ cuisine.

Speaking after the visit, John Redwood said “I was delighted to welcome the winners of the 2007 Wokingham Schools’ Debating Competition to the Palace of Westminster.

The pupils from Emmbrook and Luckley-Oakfield performed to a very high standard last year. The annual debating competition is an excellent opportunity for pupils to practice their public speaking and debating skills. The competition encourages participants to think on their feet and formulate arguments in a clear and concise manner. These are important life skills which will be valued by any future employer.”

For making such a memorable trip possible the Competition organisers would like to thank its sponsors, 3M, Classicstone Properties, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Mr William Clark, Clifton Ingram LLP and Titcheners.

Notes to editors:

The Wokingham Schools’ Parliamentary Debating Competition is an annual event which takes place in the Autumn term and is open to all secondary schools in the Wokingham constituency. It is organised by The Rt Hon John Redwood MP to encourage sixth-form pupils to develop public speaking and debating skills.

The attached photos are taken of the two teams and their teachers, with John Redwood, in Westminster Hall. Front row, from left to right: Dominic Lister, Adam Connell, John Redwood, Rebecca Knowlson and Amber Anderson. Behind them, from left to right, Marie Pearce (Luckley Oakfield), and Pam Pierce (Emmbrook).