What a Great Achievement!

Left to right, top to bottom: Ivan Voronov, Daisy Taylor, Matthew Unwin and Matt Audcent.

Urmston Grammar has succeeded in getting two teams into the finals of one of the most prestigious school debating competitions in the country: The Oxford University Schools’ Competition.

Commonly known as Oxford Schools’, the Oxford Union Society’s annual schools’ competition is the largest British Parliamentary school-level debating competition in the world. Over a thousand students participate every year. The best teams in the competition compete in Finals Day, held at the historic Oxford Union. The Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 193 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.

Mr Ahern proudly overlooks his teams. Front and central: former student and debater, Beth Molyneux

Ivan Voronov and Matt Unwin went on to get two first places in a row, whilst Daisy Taylor and Matt Audcent managed three second places against very tough competition, debating topics as diverse as feminism, colonialism, immigration and the idealisation of motherhood. Overall, both teams finished in the top half of a highly competitive field.

It was great to see former student Beth Molyneux at the finals too; in her time, a stalwart of the Urmston Grammar Debating Society, now studying Modern Languages at Oxford, she herself made the finals here in previous years, while seeing a great deal of success in other competitions too.

“Well done to our four competing students,” says supervising teacher, Mr Ahern.  “The next competition – Durham University Schools’ – is only three weeks away.”


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