06 March 2024

On the 28th February, six Year 11 students attended Liverpool John Moores University for the European Youth Parliament Regional competition.

By Ms Grey, Head of Religious Studies

In the world of EYP, Brexit never happened, and we are all united and tasked as committees to find solutions to contemporary issues facing Europe as a whole. The issues under debate this year included youth crime, marine biodiversity, AI and feminist town planning.

Our students were an absolute credit to the school and even teachers from other schools said so. They had clearly done all the research needed, had practised their speeches and were prepared to adapt them as necessary and they behaved politely and respectfully at all times, even when the competition got quite heated.

They each gained confidence as the day progressed, buoyed up by success after their initial debate, in which they won the public vote after being made to oppose a very attractive motion on increasing funding for youth services to cut youth crime. I have to say my heart sank when I saw we had been given that a few weeks ago! They very carefully opposed the motion on a number of technical issues, while agreeing with the substantive theme and successfully offered positive and constructive alternatives.

They worked so hard all day. It was nail-biting at times, but they won both their own debates and contributed thoughtfully in each of the others. I couldn't have been more proud of them. It’s worth noting that most of the students had never been in a debating competition before and had limited experience of public speaking outside school.  However, nobody would have guessed that. They each pushed themselves to do their very best and behaved exceptionally well throughout. The teamwork was evident and critical to their success.
Also worth noting that the Birkenhead School students were Year 11 and all the rest were Year 12, which they clearly found intimidating when they first walked in...but not for long!
Well done to all, you’ve done so incredibly well.