Hackney school wins national debating competition

PUBLISHED: 11:50 05 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 June 2013

The winning Bridge Academy Debate Team

The winning Bridge Academy Debate Team


A secondary school from Hackney have been crowned champions of a prestigious national debating competition.

The Bridge Academy in Laburnum Street beat 140 participating schools to win a place in the Grand Final of the Artemis Urban Debate League 2013 at the House of Lords on May 22.

The school’s Debate Team, who have been undefeated in any competition they have entered this year, knocked out Central Foundation Boys School in the Grand Final. The final debate was on ‘This House Would grant immunity to dictators in exchange for leaving power’ and was chaired by Baroness D’Souza.

Teacher and mentor, China Anya, said: “All of the students have made excellent progress in their debating skills, giving up time after school to practice. We are very proud of them.”

The winning team was made up of students from years 8, 9 and 10. Two members of the team - Ife Grillo, 14 and Gavin Alexander, 15, have extensive experience of public speaking from their time in the UK Youth Parliament, with Ife holding a role as a youth MP for Shoreditch.

The team also included Ella Cox, Haddy Jeng, Jessica Pires De Araujo and Seun Osikomaiya, all 14.

The youngest member of the team was Edmund Ross, 12.

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