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Bishop's Stortford High School online debate novices win competition organised by Imperial College London

Two Year 13 students at The Bishop's Stortford High School achieved an outstanding result in the London Road secondary's first foray into online debating.

Head boy Nathaniel Carn, in only his second inter-school competition, and Amy Raymond, making her debut, were taking part in a contest organised by Imperial College London, alongside Year 12 duo Finn Lihoreau and Tom Harding.

They were up against 64 other teams, including representatives from Budapest in Hungary and Manila in the Philippines, as well as well-known British schools such as Eton, Westminster and St Paul's Girls.

Amy Raymond and head boy Nathaniel Carn
Amy Raymond and head boy Nathaniel Carn

After four rounds of debating, Amy and Nathaniel qualified for the novice final, open to the 13 teams with less than a year's competition experience.

They were proposing a ban on publication of voter polls in the run-up to elections and defeated teams from two independent schools and the London Academy of Excellence to become champions.

Their coach, retired teacher Tony Fraser, said: "This was a fantastic result for two students who only began debating seriously when they joined the sixth form and I was also very pleased for Tom and Finn, who gained a highly respectable placing in the overall table.

"All our speakers showed great teamwork and resilience, adjusting to the different circumstances of the competition and taking aboard the judges' advice in order to improve with every round."

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