Students from six UK schools gathered in the iconic Grade I listed building, 55 Broadway, in heart of Westminster on Thursday 6 July to compete in the Debating Matters London Championship 2023.
Free Speech was the theme of the Debating Matters London Champions 2023 as six schools from across London and the Home Counties came together at the iconic Grade I listed building of 55 Broadway. Co-hosted with Blue Orchid Hospitality the championship took place on Thursday 6 July this year. Students debated a range of topics focused on 21st Century issues surrounding free speech and open debate. Aylesbury Grammar School, Harris Academy Chobham, Cardinal Newman Catholic School, The Grey Coat Hospital, Oundle School and Richmond upon Thames College took part in a series of high-quality debates throughout the day. Judges from a range of sectors including Law & Politics, Art & the Media, Health, Sport and Education asked a series of pertinent questions of the students and pushed them to find their best argument.
First time DMers Aylesbury Grammar School (AGS) fought off fierce competition from the other five schools to become DM London Championship winners 2023, with AGS student Toby Webster taking home the prize for Best Individual debater. The Grey Coat Hospital (GCH) came in as runners up with student, Princetta Rachel, taking home the highly commended individual prize, whilst Joseph Burman of Cardinal Newman Catholic School (CNCS) received a commended individual prize. A team of individual judges, looking out for outstanding individual contributions to the day of intense but stimulating debate awarded Honourable Mentions to Oscar Peck and Adam Mercier from AGS, Ruby Ager and Phoebe Korsell from GCH, Peyton Lewis-Williams from Richmond upon Thames College, Millie Balding from Oundle School, as well as Jess Ojo-Osagie and Erin George from CNCS.
Debating Matters provided me with an opportunity to dive deep into issues relevant to the world we live in today. Through high quality debate, we were able to explore these issues from lots of different viewpoints. – Finn, Year 12, CNCS.
On a day when oracy was top of the national news agenda it was great to see students debating with such passion, depth of understanding and respect for one another. If we want our students to reach adulthood capable of making informed decisions about where they stand on the most important issues of the day then there’s a good case for making every school a ‘Debating Matters’ school!
– Peter Shears, Senior Teacher, CNCS.
A full outline of the championship can be found here. We are grateful to our partners and prize sponsors.