Learn from past winners

Many of the schools and students who won awards in previous Festivals have returned for Festival 2024. The Topical Talk team would like to send a warm welcome to everyone who is taking on the challenge again, and to our newcomers!

Other schools have been unable to join us this year, including the Topical Talk schools in Palestine. Our thoughts are with the teachers and students in Gaza who are affected by the Israel-Hamas war.

Want to do well in Festival 2024?

Take a look at what some of the schools and students did last year to become the winners of Festival 2023.

Alastair Burnet Award winners

Last year, Rhemaville Christian Academy students and teachers won the top prize. They were chosen for the way they focused on listening to others and contributed to discussions rather than just posting their own thoughts. They also made links between global news stories and their own communities.

The school received £1,000 to spend on building their achievements from the Festival. Take a look at the moment they found out here!

Video not working? follow this link: https://vimeo.com/teef/alastair-burnet-award

Global Discussion Award winners

In Festival 2023 we gave awards to the schools and students who won the most stars. The winners showed a high level of commitment throughout the Festival and made sure to reply to their comments from other students and skills volunteers.

Take a look at the overall-stars leaderboard from Festival 2023. Can you get to the top of a leaderboard this year?

School leaderboard

Rank School Rank School

Rhemaville Christian Academy


Elite Scholars Academy


Beit Hanoun Prep Girls A School


Alkhansaa Prep Co Ed School B


Shri Natesan Vidyasala Mhss


Jabalia Prep Girls B School


Usra Academy


Cheam Fields Primary Academy


New Khan-Younis Prep Girls School


IB Arthur School A

Standpoint Award winners

Senior editors and producers at The Economist chose five students to win awards for their Standpoints – their final say on one of the Festival’s topics. You’ll learn more about these from week six of this Festival.

Each of the winners stuck to the Standpoint, followed the instructions carefully and came up with unique ideas.

Bomas Academy receiving their Standpoint Award prizes

Don't forget: the Festival is a great opportunity to learn from others. So keep coming back here if you need a reminder of those tips.