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Charter students debate their way to Westminster

Published on 15/11/17

A team of students from Great Yarmouth Charter Academy have enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of Westminster after triumphing in a youth debating contest.

Year 11 pupils Keeley Roe, Phoebe Harvey, Lilly Thompson, and Erin Spooner were shown around the Houses of Parliament by MP Brandon Lewis, and visited the Supreme Court, as their prize for coming first in the Great Yarmouth Youth Debate earlier in the year.

The contest put the team’s public speaking and reasoning skills to the test in a series of debates against other Great Yarmouth students.

They debated topics including ‘Should the UK be in or out of the EU?’ and ‘Should the voting age be lowered?’ in the town council’s debating chamber, with a panel of senior councillors as competition judges.

As well as the trip to Westminster, the students celebrated their success over afternoon tea with Great Yarmouth’s mayor and local councillors.

The team said: “Visiting the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court was both educational and inspirational. We were honoured to be invited into an environment in which great leaders have made difficult decisions on behalf of our country.

“It has helped us to recognise the value of democracy, and the importance of women in politics.”

Keeley added: “The entire experience has developed our knowledge of a variety of topics and taught us how to effectively put across an argument.

“I have learned so many valuable skills that I know will benefit me later in life.”