A team of Birkenhead Sixth Form College students took part in the national final of the European Youth Final competition, having won the North West regional heats earlier this year.
A number of individual students will now also go on to the international legs of the contest.
Hosted at Liverpool Hope University’s Creative Campus, eight students including Aaron Ford, Lewis Fitzgerald, Reece Hoyle, Shauna Quatermass, Isaac McGeough, Rachael Carroll, Nathon Cowley and Josh Latham, competed in cross-school events involving team building and committee work, focusing on specific policy areas such as protection of minority languages across the European Union, natural disasters, cyber security and its impact on democracy and disability rights in education and each committee wrote up a resolution.
The event took place over the first weekend of September, and on the Saturday and Sunday, a General Assembly was held where the committees debated each of the resolutions and students delivered attack and defence speeches for the resolutions.
These activities required a huge amount of collaboration between students from schools from all over the British Isles from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to Gloucester and London. Evening activities included a Euro-village which required schools to bring food from their allocated country (Poland being the allocated country for Birkenhead Sixth Form College), a Euro-quiz and a talent show.
One of the College students who was part of the team, Aaron Ford, said, “The nationals were frankly an amazing experience, meeting people from all over the UK and in, in one case, Alessando’s, all the way from Italy. Just learning about their cities and lives was great along with the actual work on resolutions which was so fun and interesting.
“Debating in the General Assembly was once again extremely interesting and engaging, especially when your committee is the focus. I’ve improved at working with others from a wider background and have just loved meeting everyone there.”
Aaron’s teammate, Lewis Fitzgerald, said, “Being part of EYP (European Youth Parliament) was not only an experience of a lifetime but also a learning curve. Meeting new friends for life as well as solidifying relationships made EYP what it is to me.”
Rachael Carroll described her experience of the event, “The whole experience was fantastic! Meeting new and like-minded people from around the UK was such a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; sharing cultures, mutual interests and beliefs truly made the experience as we all threw ourselves into the deep end with the sole purpose of enjoyment. Overall, the EYP UK Autumn Nationals event will impact me in the future when continuing my goal of developing confidence and self-assurance.
“When pursuing my career goal in GeoPolitics and broadcasting, I know there will always be others to lean on and further my understanding in topics I personally may not have first-hand experienced but will always aim to understand others. Listening to all opinions I certainly believe this generation is on such a forward-thinking intellectual level and the future is certainly looking bright.”
Politics teacher, Jane Cavanagh, who acted as leader for the event, said, “ I could not be prouder of my students and the way that they conducted themselves during the whole event. They fully embraced the whole experience. Socially, they made lots of friends and totally embodied the values of both Birkenhead Sixth Form College and EYP by being thoughtful and respectful to others.
“During the talent show, Lewis put together a jazz ensemble consisting of himself on bass guitar and a pianist, singer and saucepan drummer from students from other schools and Reece who was brave enough to perform some stand-up comedy which went down a storm! In the committee and general assembly stages the students showed true team spirit throughout and they showed off their tremendous oratory and debating skills and it was a joy to watch them grow in confidence during the whole experience.”
For more on studying Politics at the College, click here