Leeds youngsters prove they can talk the talk

Leeds, Leeds Star

Pupils from across Leeds primary schools have been putting their debating skills to the test at a special competition at Leeds Civic Hall.

To support and encourage Leeds schools to develop pupils’ confidence and debating skills, Leeds City Council hosted a city-wide debating competition for pupils in years five and six.

The inclusive teams of three were given some tricky topics to debate for and against throughout the course of the competition. Including: ‘under 11’s should be banned from using the internet’; ‘homework is good for you’ and; ‘it is cruel to keep animals in zoos’.

Pupils from eight primary schools took part in this inaugural competition, which were Bramley St Peter’s, Raynville, Stanningley, Alwoodley, Harehills, Moor Allerton Hall, Hunslet Moor and Drighlington.

The top two school teams which made it through to the final were Bramley St. Peter’s and Drighlington. With Alicia Crawshaw, Demi-Leigh Wood and Jake Marsh from Bramley St Peter’s being the overall victors. Councillors Lisa Mulherin and Helen Hayden presented certificates, medals and trophies to the winning pupils.

The best individual speaker award went to Manvinder Dev from Moor Allerton Hall primary school for his great persuasive speeches.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families said:

“I was very impressed by the standard of debating skills shown by the young people taking part, they were all tremendously confident and I look forward to seeing them become successful public speakers in the future.

“Debating is an excellent lifeskill and can also improve pupils’ confidence and self-esteem. Not only does it support pupils to express and justify their own opinions, it also provides a platform for them to listen and appreciate the opinions and feelings of others.”

As part of the competition, the children were treated to a tour of the Civic Hall’s council chambers by Cllr Mulherin who explained how council meetings are run, and how important public speaking is for councillors to be able to express the views of their constituents and make important decisions for the city.