Students from Fairfield High School in Horfield have featured in an episode of an education reality show.
The Kings & Queens of Speech series on Sky1 focuses on the work of the charity Debate Mate, which encourages state school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop debating skills.
A camera crew from production company Two Four – makers of Educating Yorkshire – followed the Year 10 Fairfield students and their Debate Mate mentor Seun over ten weeks last autumn as they prepared for a national debating competition.
Seun began with 15 students, aged 14 and 15, from a diverse range of backgrounds, none of whom had considered debating before. They split into three teams for an in-school debating competition, with the winning team going forward to the next stage of the contest at the Oxford Union.
The programme, like earlier episodes that also feature inner-city state schools, shows how finding their voice can transform the lives of teenagers by helping them learn to express themselves and develop confidence.
The makers describe it as “a joyful, uplifting and heartfelt look at the potential that can be unleashed in young adults today”.
The five successful students from FHS in Horfield who went through to the next stage at the Oxford Union were Christopher Jenkins, Alamay Combley, Kyrus Ward, Jake Mitchell and Romi Bhakerd.
“Debate Mate was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that helped me learn a lot about speaking to people and will help me in later life. Thank you to everyone in Debate Mate.”
Debate Mate is an educational charity that works with 242 schools nationwide, including several in Bristol, and has helped more than 15,000 young people.
Principal Cat Mangham said:
“We believe strongly in providing opportunities for young people to develop skills they will need in their future lives. Debate Mate is an excellent way for students to develop confidence and taking part in the Kings & Queens of Speech programme was a hugely positive experience for the school.”
Kings & Queens of Speech is screened at 8pm on Sundays on Sky1 and will show how FHS gets on in the next stage at Oxford Union. Their full episode which was shown on 21st June can be viewed via Sky On Demand. The series will be shown again in the autumn.