Students from Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy took part in a national debating competition held at the University of Oxford.
A group of year ten students were selected to represent the Ilkeston school at the contest held by the Ormiston Academies Trust.
The students were split into two groups and they debated against other schools from across the country.
Subjects up for discussion included should children under-18 be allowed to vote and should celebrities be given harsher punishments if they commit a crime.
Students either spoke for or against the subject and they were given five minutes to develop their ideas before they decided who was going to speak, sum up or help.
Lottie Hardy, 15, said: “It was a really good experience. It’s the first time we’d done anything like this and it went well. You were awarded points for your style, strategy, structure, content and how professional you were. It was a really high standard and we made it through to the second round.”
Joel Uveges, 15, said: “It wasn’t easier to be for or against. If you were good enough then you should have been able to argue either way.”
Zoe Green, English teacher at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy, said she was extremely proud of the students.
She said: “They were just so confident and they owned the room when they were speaking, it was amazing to see their confidence coming out.”