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Pupils win national public speaking champs
10:20am Thursday 17th May 2012 in Oxford
Arguing America is not the greatest democracy on earth helped a group of Oxford pupils clinch the title of national public speaking champions.
Youngsters from Magdalen College School beat six other finalists to win the English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition for Schools.
The Cowley Place school got through to the final, which was held in London, after winning its branch final in November and regional final in March.
This is the first time since 2001 that a school from Oxfordshire has picked up the prize, the last one being Tudor Hall School near Banbury.
To win, the team – which was mostly made up of 16-year-olds – had to present an argument about a particular topic which was then judged.
Their topic was whether America was the greatest democracy on earth.
Magdalen history teacher Alex Thomas said: “We are pretty pleased to have won.
“Our boys are very good at improvising very quickly.
“We will definitely be going again. However, we will have to live up to this year.
“These days jobs require presentation skills and all the topics related to current affairs so debating fosters a good appreciation of the world around you.”
Seven English regions were represented at the final, as well as Wales.
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