Elmhurst pupils have been crowned the second best debating team in the whole country after putting on an astounding show at Oxford University this week.
The group of year five and six students were invited to compete at the Debate Mate Cup national finals on Tuesday. The day got off to the perfect start, with the squad winning both of their opening bouts in order to qualify for the grand final, where they narrowly lost out in an incredibly entertaining match-up.
Coincidentally, it was a repeat of last year's final pairing, with Elmhurst squaring up against Plymouth Grove Primary. While last year Elmhurst emerged as national champions, this time it was Manchester school's time to take the top spot.
Sania, Maria, Sukaynah, Daania and Kai, from year six, and Samiha, from year five, did themselves and the school proud by tackling complex motions with poise, sophistication and confidence. They won their cases for the government providing pocket money for all school children and against the prohibition of phones and tablets for young people. In the final, they mounted a strong case against lowering the voting age to 12 but just lost out on the victory.
It is not only thanks to the team on the day, but also the hard work of year six pupils Kulsum, Lamisa and Tahsin, who were part of the team that qualified for Oxford, but were unable to attend as they are lucky enough to be on the school art trip to Venice. However, the depth of the school's debating club meant there was no problem finding pupils both eager and qualified to step into the roles.
It continues a successful year for Elmhurst debating. We have so far won 22 of our 25 competitive debates, coming second in the London and national cups, as well as currently sitting atop the East London Debating League and having qualified for the London finals of the Noisy Classroom Debating Challenge.