Students head east to take part in Euro debate

Molly Hall spoke in an environmental debate.

Molly Hall spoke in an environmental debate.

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Two sixth form students from Ponteland High School showcased their public speaking skills in eastern Europe.

Elliot Barker and Molly Hall took part in the European Youth Parliament (EYP) Estonia event. Along with the host country, the other delegates at the session came from Latvia and Lithuania.

Elliot Barker participated in a debate about economics.

Elliot Barker participated in a debate about economics.

Molly spoke in an environmental debate, whilst Elliot participated in a debate about economics.

As well as putting their public speaking skills to the test, the Year 13 pupils enjoyed meeting and interacting with people from different cultures and learning more about the issues facing the EU.

The school has a proud tradition in the EYP initiative – on five out of the last seven occasions, the Ponteland High team won its regional session and progressed to the national session.

Students who have taken part in the national session become alumni of the EYP and can then progress onto international sessions and teenagers from Ponteland have represented the UK at sessions in Rotterdam, Prague, and Nice in the past.

David Hicklenton, the teacher at the school who has supported EYP students for more than ten years, said: “The selection process and the debating itself takes students outside their comfort zones.

“I am very proud of the alumni who have gone on to work with European companies, with the European Parliament and in the House of Commons as a direct result of their participation in the sessions.”

In addition, former Ponteland High pupils have gone on to become the chair of EYP UK, North East regional session organiser and national session organisers.