Derby Grammar School Sixth Formers took part in the European Youth Parliament Regional Forum at Warwick recently, spending the day debating topics as wide ranging as reducing the damaging effects of rapid production, purchase and disposal of clothes to combating anti-Semitism.
The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is one of the largest European platforms for political debate and the exchange of ideas among young people in Europe. It is active in over 33 countries.
The EYP Regional Forum events promote constructive debate on matters that affect the whole of Europe. Teams from schools take part in the debating competition with the winning team moving forward to the next stage.
Across all debates the judges are looking for teams who work together, have the ability to grasp issues and consider others’ opinions, as well as listen carefully and grasp the core issues in the debate. The emphasis is on effective communication and getting the message across.
The Derby Grammar School team comprised of eight members who are all in Year 12.
Amrit Dhillon was one of the team members. He said: “We had prepped beforehand and written an opposing speech on ensuring the security of an election and a proposing speech on the EU’s commitment to fighting global warming and welfare of EU citizens. While the debates were going on we had to write a summation paper for each motion which was quite hard.”
Teja Saladi was also part of the team. He added: “It was a challenging event. At the start we were quite quiet, but by the end we all felt we had grown in confidence, found our voice and felt comfortable challenging and raising points.
Vinay Tank was team captain. He added: “It was an amazing and unique experience. Everyone had to show both competitiveness and confidence.”
Karen Stebbings, Head of Sixth Form, attended the forum with the team. She said: “I was so proud of our students. Every one of them stood up and spoke, they worked together as a team and their summation speeches were outstanding. The team came third which we were delighted with. The boys were a real credit to Derby Grammar School.”