Debaters talk way to finals

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Tadcaster Riverside Community Primary will send a team to the finals of the North Yorkshire County Council debating competition after its six-man team won the regional heats.

Held at Selby Civic Centre the Year 6, ten and 11-year-old pupils - Hannah Redmond, Indi Bryant-Chesters, Ruby Simpson, Sophie McClure, Harry Shooter and Sebastian Gray - competed against five other schools from the Selby area.

Called up to be questioners, Hanna, Sebastian, Rub and Harry had to listen very carefully to all of the speakers so that they could ask difficult questions.

“Eventually, after four of the six schools had spoken, it was Indi’s and Sophie’s turn to speak,” explained the Riverside team.

“Indi was debating why homework isn’t a waste of time whereas Sophie had to debate on why homework is a waste of time.

“Because we had practised so many times in the classrooms at break times and at home we had managed to memorise the speeches and questions, so at the competition we felt more prepared and confident.”

After all the schools had spoken, councillors totted up the scores and declared Riverside the winners and Sherburn-in-Elmet and STAR (Sherburn Tadcaster and Rural) Teaching School Alliance Athelstan the runners-up.

“We all sat there squirming in our seats, overjoyed at the thought of going to compete in the finals of competition,” added the Riverside team.

“The councillors called both Athelstan and us up to the front and gave Athelston a small silver medal and then presented Riverside with large, shiny gold medals as well as a plaque and certificate.

“All round we had lots of fun and really, really enjoyed it.

“It was such a brilliant day out and we cannot wait to go to the finals in June.”

Riverside will go through to the final on June 16 at County Hall in Northallerton.