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Churchill Academy & Sixth Form

Students excel at The Great Debate!

The Great Debate is a national public speaking competition for 14-18 year olds, run by the Historical Association.

This year, two students in Year 12 took up the challenge. Ellie and Lily were tasked with speaking for 5 minutes on the question 'Which historical place or person from your local area deserves greater recognition?' - no mean feat given the fact that, if something lacks recognition, it's very hard to research! 

The regional final was held at Bristol University, where they competed against other students from schools across the South-West and Wales. They had to speak in a university lecture theatre with hundreds of seats, and then face questions from a panel of judges including renowned historian Professor Ronald Hutton. They both produced speeches to be proud of. 

Ellie and Lily delivered their speeches with confidence, clarity and passion, and both performed exceptionally well against a very strong field. Ellie chose to speak about Tom Leimdorfer, a local figure from Congresbury who grew up during WW2, and whose life has seen him work in conflict resolution during the Cold War, education and politics. Lily spoke about RAF Locking, the former base turned housing development where she lives. 

Lily’s speech stood out, and her amazing hard work was recognised by the judges, who gave her the runner-up prize for her speech. 

Both Ellie and Lily should be very proud of themselves for taking up this opportunity. Many thanks to their parents and to the History department for their support in preparing them both for the competition. The Great Debate is an annual competition, so if you're interested in taking part in the future, come and see Mr Slater for more information!