A HOLYWELL high school is celebrating another double success in the Rotary Youth Speaks Competition after both of its teams won the district round in the event held at Glyndwr University.

It is a brilliant outcome for the Ysgol Treffynnon students who have been working hard organising, collating, and perfecting their presentations since the beginning of the spring term in January. This achievement will see them compete in the national finals next month, taking place in Leamington Spa, Warwick.

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It is the first year that the competition, organised by Rotary International of Great Britain and Ireland (RIGBI), has run since the pandemic. The four-stage debate competition is designed to support and encourage the development of effective communication skills.

On the intermediate Year 8 team were Tallulah Burkett, Holly Rigg and Cerys Daly. Their presentation title was: Should school uniform be compulsory? - a topic which the students are all passionate about and had researched thoroughly, resulting in a confident performance in the competition.

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Year 11 students Ayanda Parkies, Lewis Bowen and Gerda Klimantaviciute made up the senior team and their presentation was titled: Is data sharing a threat to our privacy? They each have their own unique perspectives on the subject, and a great understanding of both the social and personal implications of data sharing in today's world.

Both teams went into the district competition with their presentations from the earlier rounds which they had honed and polished to perfection.

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The students faced fierce competition that included teams from Middleton College and King's School in Chester.

It is not the first time that Ysgol Treffynnon has had success in this competition. The school has a long tradition of public speaking and students have participated in the competition every year with some success. Most recently in 2019, Siobhan Henry, head of humanities and PE, worked with the senior team who went on to win the district finals.

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Shelley Francis-Kearney, English teacher, works with Mrs Henry to run the Junior Debate Club at the school and has been working with the teams throughout the competition this year.

She said: "The students have all done superbly! They've been persistent in their hard work and have been focused on projecting their voices and perfecting their intonation and delivery in preparation.

"It's great to get back to some sense of normality after the last couple of years and for both teams to get through to the finals is just fantastic. Mrs Henry and I are both so proud of our students for all that they've achieved so far, and of the professionalism with which they have represented Ysgol Treffynnon.

"We are now looking forward to the National Final next month, and we will be doing everything we can to support them in the lead up."