Congratulations to Leon Reilly (6th year) and Andy Cullinan (5th year) on their incredible success at the Oxford University School Competition on Saturday.
This competition is the largest school competition in the world, with over 700 teams participating. The competition begins with regional rounds across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the rest of the world. 104 teams were then selected to take part in the finals day at the Oxford Union itself on Saturday. On the day of the competition, all teams compete in four debates and the top eight of them qualify for the semi-finals. The best two teams from each semi-final then make it to the grand final. Teams are given only fifteen minutes to prepare their speeches in these debates.
Following debates about social media, a universal basic income, parent/child relations and the value of citizen journalism, Leon and Andy finished in the top eight teams. In their semi-final, they were proposing that 'cultural defence' should be a mitigating factor in criminal trials. After an excellent performance in that semi, the two boys made it through to the final. You can watch Andy and Leon's speeches below.
The final featured three other teams, two from Canada and one from the Netherlands. They debated a motion based on the idea of a perfect city where people's lives of happiness relied on the suffering of a single child. Unfortunately, they ultimately lost the final to an amazing team from Canada. This doesn't take anything from the phenomenal achievement of our students on Saturday. They are the first team from CBC to ever reach the final of Oxford Schools' and the first Irish team to do it in nearly a decade. We are so proud of them both.