Heathfield Community School students have recently been celebrating their achievements in local and national writing and debating competitions.
The debating talents of Heathfield students Cerys Turner and Erika Vaidotaite took them all the way to Oxford University. In a first for Heathfield, Erika and Cerys qualified for the finals of the prestigious Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition. The girls made it through to the finals after qualifying from the South of England round in which they competed against 50 other schools and colleges.
Cerys and Erika performed with great credit throughout the day. The competition followed the Parliamentary debating format and the two girls argued for or against four different motions against a host of national and international schools and colleges. With motions such as ‘In areas of socioeconomic deprivation, this house would prioritise training students in vocational skills as opposed to traditional academic subjects’ the girls approached the finals day with consideration and courage.
Founded in 2020, the Heathfield School Debating Society consists of students from Years 9, 10 and 11 and meets weekly to debate topical issues.
Simon Bament and Anna Chamberlain, Heathfield Debating Society coordinators, said: “We are so proud of Cerys and Erika. They were brilliant ambassadors for their families, the Debating Society and Heathfield Community School.
“Every student in the Heathfield Debating Society should also feel a sense of pride; they constantly challenge, support and encourage each other and Cerys and Erika represented their peers at Oxford with dignity and determination.”
Meanwhile, Heathfield's Writers' Club has also been celebrating the achievements of two of its members.
Joshua Dow and Elsie Ryder were announced as winners of the under-18s category in the Tacchi-Morris Page is Printed competition. Joshua and Elsie both wrote beautiful poems, which earned them first prize.
Claire Martin organiser of the writer’s club said: “The members of Writers' Club meet every week to share their love of writing and develop their own responses to various prompts. It's fantastic that Elsie and Joshua's hard work has been recognised with these awards. Well done to both of them.”