Students from Skegness make history in debate

Skegness Grammar School students Finlay Chatterton-Smith and Bradley Walker who took part in the Historical Association's 'Great Debate'. ANL-171229-115333001

Students from Skegness Grammar School have been making history in a county-wide debating championship.

Finlay Chatterton-Smith and Bradley Walker from Skegness Grammar School, part of the David Ross Education Trust, took part in the championship as part of the Historical Association’s ‘Great Debate’.

During the Lincolnshire heat of the competition, which was held at Lincoln’s Bishop Grosseteste University, Year 13 student Finlay Chatterton-Smith impressed the judges with his persuasive arguments and polished debating skills.

Focusing on the topic of whether the 1918 extension of the vote to women was the most significant moment in British democratic history, Finlay produced a five-minute speech which wowed the judges with his knowledge, confidence and his ability to see past the positive interpretations of collective memory.

In a bold move, Finlay went against popular opinion by arguing that the extension of the franchise was not the most significant moment in British democratic history, as it wasn’t as far-reaching as popular histories would have us believe.

Finlay will now go on to compete in the prestigious national ‘Great Debate’ finals which will be held at the Houses of Parliament in March. Competing against students from across the country, Finlay will have the chance to be crowned national champion and win a cash prize, a year’s subscription to the Historical Association and a number of prizes for his school.

Finlay said: “I am really excited to be going to the Houses of Parliament to deliver my speech. With a little more practice I am sure I can do both Skegness Grammar School and myself proud.”

The other Skegness Grammar School student who took part, Bradley Walker, received praise from the judges regarding his interpretation of the topic and answered their questions with confidence and expertise.

Laura Howey, Subject Improvement Lead for Humanities at Skegness Grammar School, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage in debates about key historical and political concepts. I am delighted that both of our students performed so well and look forward to supporting Finlay at the final in London.”

Heather Scott, Principal at Skegness Grammar School, said: “Finlay and Bradley have worked incredibly hard to research and produce their five-minute speeches to deliver a winning performance. I am thrilled for both students and look forward to seeing Finlay in the final at Westminster next March.”

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