Hartlepool Sixth Form College

Hartlepool Sixth Form students scoop top prize in regional debating competition

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Students from Hartlepool Sixth Form are celebrating after triumphing at the Debating Matters North East championship.

Seven students took part in the competition ran by the Battle of Ideas (boi) charity, beating off strong competition from Barnard Castle to take the top title.

The students debated real-world issues, such as, ‘monuments to controversial historical figures should remain’, ‘childhood vaccinations should be compulsory’ and in the final debate ‘populism is a threat to democracy’.

A-Level students Nooresahar Ahmed, Eve Cooper, Jess Hilton, Francesca Snowdon, Luke Williams, Blessing Ihuoma and Hannah Edwards impressed the judges throughout the day with their intellectual ability and remained calm under pressure.

They received a trophy, a £500 voucher for Hodder Education books or resources and a 1-year online subscription to Prospect Magazine to have access to leading online articles.

Naznin Ahmed, Higher Education Transitions Officer at Hartlepool Sixth Form, said: “It was lovely to see the students grow in confidence throughout the day, especially because they were so nervous at the start.

“The main benefit was the boost in confidence for the students, they’ve really achieved something by taking part.”

Jess Hilton, Hartlepool Sixth Form student added: “We were all quite nervous but as soon as we got on stage, the thrill was awesome and exciting.”

The students are delighted with their success and would like to go on and create an in-house debating team for September to further improve their skills and take part in the competition next year.