Newham pupils in Benjamin Franklin debating competition

Students from two Newham schools will be going head to head in a debating competition with groups from across London.

Pupils from Sarah Bonnell and Langdon schools will be taking part in the annual Benjamin Franklin Fellowship Debate Competition on March 12.

First prize will be a place at the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute at Wake Forest University, North Carolina.

The debate will take the form of a straight knock-out tournament with a quarter-final, semi-final, and a final debate. This year students will be debating topics which cover a wide range of themes including politics, social issues such as human rights and international relations.

The event will be held at US Embassy, in Grosvenor Square, central London.


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It is part of the The Benjamin Franklin House Education Programme benefits an average of around 2,600 Primary and Secondary school students each year.

The programme is run by Benjamin Franklin House which opened to the public in January 2006 on Franklin’s 300th birthday. It now serves as a dynamic museum and educational facility in the heart of London, just off Trafalgar Square. Built in 1730, the Grade I listed building was home to Franklin – scientist, inventor, philosopher, diplomat and US Founding Father – for nearly 16 years between 1757 and 1775.

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In his role as a colonial agent, and later as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Franklin regularly found himself having to advance his opinions in the face of real criticism. In that spirit, Benjamin Franklin House holds a debate competition every year, in collaboration with the US Embassy, for upper Secondary school students, to encourage the great thinkers of tomorrow.

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