After the difficult exam period, there is nothing like setting the students a challenging public speaking competition to make every moment of school count...
Every student in Years 7, 8 and 10 took part in the annual Public Speaking Competition, writing and performing a 3 minute speech that they had to perform in front of their classmates. The class winner then had to go on to compete in the inter-class final in-front of a panel of independent judges. On Monday the 20th and Tuesday the 21st of June, the finals were held.
The Year 7 students all choose one thing which they wish to put in Room 101, the room originally invented by George Orwell in 1984, and now the title of a tv show, where things you hate can be banished forever. The choices in the final were widely different, from Jeanette Vo talking about banishing procrastination, to Alexer Yap on Kidzbop, to Jonathan Brownrigg on refugee status and Ngoc Han Huynh who wanted to banish mosquitoes. The standard was impressively high, with well-considered, controlled speeches. Gemma Handscombe took third place, Benjamin Brownrigg second place, and Chaiti Mahashwari first place.
The Year 8s debate the ethics and issues of travel. Again, their originality was wonderful with highly entertaining speeches on the horrors of travel, thought provoking explorations of the effect of travel on our personal growth and development , and the journey girls take into womanhood. In third place was Mai Van Trinh who gave a very polished performance exploring the education you can gain from travelling, second was Nina Donnelly who spoke movingly on the disparity between our travel for pleasure and the journey refugees take to a new home, and the winner, with an entertaining and cleverly structured speech on the horrors of travelling with family was Emma Goebel.
The Year 10 competition is the culmination of all the work the students do throughout the year groups and the finalists spoke maturely and authoritatively. The students choose any topic, and they spoke on a diverse range of subjects: third place went to Tom Lee for his effective description and effective use of gesture in his speech on suicide and its unfair treatment in society; second place went to Kati Hoffman for her highly entertaining and funny speech on holding on to the joy of being young; the winner, with a sensitive and moving speech which encouraged us to reassess our attitudes towards mental health, was Kim Ninh.
Public Speaking is not everyone's favourite challenge, but it is an important skill to have. So thank you from the English department for your enthusiastic approach to the competition and congratulations to all those that took part.
Abigail Griffiths | Assistant Head of English