Willows High School pupils travel to Dubai to represent the UK at The World Expo


Two Year 11pupils from Willows High School have been selected to represent the UK at the World Expo in Dubai next month.

Marzooq Subhani and Crystal Tran secured their places by winning the Dubai Expo Factor last year, a national debating competition where they each discussed, presented and pitched their take on what makes Britain extraordinary against other students from across the UK.

The World Expo is a global celebration of culture, collaboration and innovation where 190 countries come together to show how collectively we can build a better world for all. The UK National Day on takes place on February 10 and will see the UK take over the entire Expo site for a day.

As two of the four winners, Marzooq and Crystal will help shape the day's agenda and lead the conversation at the biggest global gathering of all time. They will be involved in discussing issues that matter to us all including sustainability, education, opportunity, technology and creativity.

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "This is a fantastic achievement forMarzooq and Crystalwho have been chosen to represent our country on a worldwide stage.

"Willows High School is one of several schools who have been introducedto the DebateMate platform by The Cardiff Commitment. This has shown to help promotedebating, giving pupils the confidence to debate and enter competitions and providing them with opportunities, valuable experience and transferable skills for their future.

"The Cardiff Commitment works to connect opportunities from industry to schools in Cardiff, helping to develop the knowledge and skills needed in our young people linked to our growth sectors."

Chris Norman, Headteacher of Willows High School said: "I am so pleased for Crystal and Marzooq, they are amazing pupils, a testament to the high expectations we have for our pupils at Willows High School and our drive to improve literacy and oracy across the school."

"They have worked really hard and fully deserve this fantastic reward. I'd like to thank The Cardiff Commitment for introducing us to DebateMate, we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future."

The Cardiff Commitment initially introduced DebateMate to schools, having supported a debate between pupils from Cantonian High School and Fitzalan High School in June 2021. The event was devised by Fintech Wales and organised in partnership with DebateMate, Cardiff Commitment, Cardiff Council's Economic Development team and the Seren Network.

With the support of Cardiff Council's Economic Development Team (Invest in Cardiff), Cardiff Council's Education Directorate, First Campus and FinTech Wales, the Cardiff Commitment will be supporting DebateMate to deliver a 12 week debating programme across 8 secondary schools in Cardiff later this spring.

To find out more about the UK National Day at the Dubai World Expo please visit: