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RONA CONGRATULATES BISHOPBRIGGS DEBATING TEAM

ACADEMY JUNIOR SQUAD ARE RUNNERS-UP AT TOP TOURNAMENT


A young debating team at Bishopbriggs Academy has been honoured at the Scottish Parliament after excelling at a top tournament.

The pupils took the runner-up prize after reaching the finals of the prestigious Glasgow Bar Association Schools’ Debating Tournament, held recently at the City Chambers.

Local MSP Rona Mackay put forward a motion to parliament congratulating the team on their success, which received cross-party support.

After presenting pupils with the framed motion on a visit to the school, Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay said: “This is a fantastic achievement, congratulations to everyone involved.

“The junior debating team have done their school proud and are a credit to both the school and the local community.

“I am sure their future is bright.”

She added: “Credit must also go to the young people’s debating coach and teacher Keith Gilmour for all his hard work helping pupils to develop their debating expertise.”

The talented team comprised Hannah Fenby, Anna Graham, Sophie Greaves, Callum Mason and Sarah Stevenson.

Bishopbriggs Academy Debating Team coach and RMPS teacher Keith Gilmour said: “The pupils’ dedication was incredible as they had been practising tirelessly at lunchtimes and after school.

“It is fantastic for the team to receive this recognition from Rona Mackay MSP.”

The young team’s remit at the debating contest was: “This house believes that lockdown was a mistake, which could have been avoided."

The junior debating team was one of two teams from Bishopbriggs Academy who made it through to the finals of the competition – one of the few times two teams from the same school have achieved this in the competition’s 34-year history.

Their achievement follows the success of senior stage pupils at the UK-wide Bar Mock Trial Competition earlier this year when the school won third place and was given the accolade of Highest Scoring New Team.

Bishopbriggs Academy was also the recipient this month of a platinum Scottish languages employability award from Scotland’s National Centre for Languages.

The award is aimed at helping schools and businesses to build partnerships through languages in order to develop young people’s learning about the world of work and the value of language skills.


Caption: Rona Mackay MSP is pictured presenting the framed motion to the young members of the debating team at Bishopbriggs Academy and their coach Keith Gilmour.


ENDS


MOTION

That the Parliament congratulates Bishopbriggs Academy on its success as runner-up at the final of the Glasgow Bar Association Schools’ Debating Tournament, held in Glasgow City Chambers on 13 June 2023; commends what it sees as the high calibre of finalists from Bishopbriggs Academy, The High School of Glasgow and Whitehill Secondary School; acknowledges the outstanding achievement that two teams from the same school, Bishopbriggs Academy, won places in the final, which, it believes, is a particularly rare occurrence in the competition’s 34-year history; delights at the passion with which Hannah Fenby, Anna Graham, Sophie Greaves, Callum Mason and Sarah Stevenson represented Bishopbriggs Academy in this prestigious competition; notes the depth of preparation and reflection around the motion of "This house believes that lockdown was a mistake, which could have been avoided"; is captivated by the pupils’ clarity of speech, structured delivery and the passion with which the proposition and opposition teams competed; applauds the spirit of congratulatory encouragement by all when Whitehill Secondary School lifted the trophy as the 2023 winners; extends its grateful thanks to the debate chairman, Mr John McArthur, and the judges and special guests, Ms Annette Mackay, Ms Grace Hendry Nash, Mr Kenneth Gray and Mr Garvie McArdle; acknowledges the phenomenal support of the Bishopbriggs Academy Debating Team coach and RMPS teacher, Mr Keith Gilmour, for his dedication in enabling pupils to develop their debating expertise and grasp opportunities to excel in their skills publicly; notes that this achievement for junior stage pupils follows the recent success of senior stage pupils at the UK-wide Bar Mock Trial Competition, where the school won third place and was given the accolade of Highest Scoring New Team; sends heartfelt thanks to parents and teachers in enabling the young people to develop the skills of critical analysis, research and public speaking through taking part in debating activities, both within the school and at external events, and sends every best wish to each of the participating team members for continued enjoyment and fulfilment in debating.


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