Since half term, the English Department have been teaching Year 7 about persuasive writing skills and the art of constructing a well-researched argument. Pupils have learnt how to form a viewpoint from which to write, the use of rhetorical and persuasive techniques and the impact of their choice of language and style of delivery on an audience.
To mark the culmination of the project, Mrs Cartwright invited children to put their newfound skills into practice and deliver their speech at the annual Public Speaking Competition in front of the rest of the Year Group, teachers and judges. Undaunted by what, to some, might seem an incredibly intimidating challenge, the enthusiastic response delivered a final line up of 16 speakers whose subject choices ranged from ‘Why do people celebrate Christmas so early’ and ‘Books are better than films’ to personal heroes such as Rosa Parkes, Jamie Oliver and Winston Churchill.
The competition was held in Constance Green Hall and produced a highly informative, entertaining and impressive afternoon. Three external judges, all with extensive personal experience of Public Speaking, – Laura Bouttell, Managing Director of Harrogate management training company Quarterdeck, Clare Downham, Motivational Speaker and Jack Farrar, Actor – had the unenviable task of choosing a winner plus two runners up, which they all agreed was an almost impossible task as the standard of delivery was so high.
After weighty deliberation, during which time the audience were entertained by a number of equally brave Year 7 musicians performing solo and in ensemble, the judges presented very well deserved Certificates of Achievement to all speakers, announcing Flossie Linford as the overall winner with her speech ‘Climate Change’ and Elena Dickson and Sophia Crooks as runners up with their speeches on Wilma Rudolph and ‘Are there too many cookery programmes on TV?’ respectively.