Year 8 pupils from Beechwood Park School in Markyate have been crowned national champions at the Rotary Club's Youth Speaks competition.

The Beechwood team, composed of Aidan Burger, 12, Josh Davies, 13, and Tommy Hubback, 13, fought their way through local, district and regional qualifying rounds with the support of English teacher Helen Beavis.

On Sunday, April 23, the team travelled to Laurence Sheriff School in Rugby for the national finals.

Debates centred around topics as varied as 'Let's ban fairy tales', to 'Should school uniforms be compulsory?' and 'Private schools should be abolished'. 

The Beechwood team's topic centred around whether the monarchy should be abolished - a relevant topic as the country approaches the coronation.


As well as winning the overall competition, Aidan was named best chairperson, and Josh best opposer.

The win goes one step further than the 2022 Beechwood debating team, which won the regional final last year.

The school's interim head Maureen Cussans said: "The whole school is incredibly proud of this phenomenal team performance by Aidan, Tommy and Josh.

"They have worked hard to get to this level, supported the whole time by the indefatigable Mrs Beavis as she has tirelessly coached and nurtured them to this outstanding success."