Four schools go through to the next round of the Wokingham Schools’ Debating Competition

The Emmbrook School, the Holt, St. Crispin’s and the Willink all advanced to the semi-finals in the annual Wokingham Schools’ Debating Competition organised by the Rt. Hon John Redwood MP. The first round of the competition, held at the Emmbrook on Thursday the 9th October, saw the home team of Adam Connell and Florence Curtis join Anna Carter and Charlotte Lesbirel of the Holt go through to the semi-final. A week later, on Thursday the 16th October, Albert Bezman and Stephen Gillespie of St. Crispin’s and Lawrence Hill and Dominic Murray-Vaughan of the Willink also made it through.

The first two rounds were chaired by the former leader of Wokingham Borough Council, Mr. Frank Browne, who presided over proceedings. A panel of judges made up of Conservative Councillor Annette Drake, Liberal Democrat Beth Rowland and Wokingham News journalist Rebecca Johnson ranked the winners based on a number of criteria including the clarity of their arguments and the ability to think on their feet.

Speaking about the result, John Redwood said: “The judges probably had the hardest job of the evening as the standard of debating amongst all participants was very high. The participants demonstrated an ability to formulate their arguments and argue their case in front of an audience. These are valuable life skills that will be appreciated by any future employer”.

The semi-final of the debating competition will take place at 7pm on Thursday the 20th November at Wokingham Town Hall. The participating teams in the semi-final will be given the motions to be debated a two weeks before the event. The two winning teams will progress to the final on Friday the 28th November at Wokingham Town Hall, where the winning team will receive the John Redwood Cup for debating and the opportunity to spend a day in the House of Commons with John Redwood.

The debating competition was made possible by the generosity of the sponsors Royal Bank of Scotland, Classicstone Properties, Mr. Bill Clark, Clifton Ingram, 3M and Ticheners.

For more information and for photographs of the participating students, please contact Carl Thomson on 020 7219 4205.