Winners of ESU Public Speaking competition

On Thursday 7th February, six M5 (Year 10) and U5 (Year 11) pupils forming two teams participated in the English Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition in Canterbury’s Guildhall with the Lord Mayor in attendance.  The competition is open to fifth form pupils in order to support oracy skills and encourage public speaking.  Pupils are grouped into teams of three consisting of different speaking roles including: a chair who opens, closes and introduces the speaker and questioner;  a questioner who listens carefully and asks the speaker questions after their speech; a speaker who has five minutes to discuss a topic that they have researched from a set list.  On the night of the competition, the teams are split up in order to encourage teamwork with other schools.

Our first team consisting of Iris Mickleburgh (chair), Nathaniel Florence-Wratten (questioner) and Miriam Inglis (speaker) worked with pupils from St Lawrence College and Folkestone School for Girls.  Miriam, who was chaired and questioned by Folkestone Girls, spoke about how animal testing for the purposes of scientific research ‘was a necessary evil.’  Iris and Nathaniel supported their St Lawrence speaker on the topic of how going vegan will ‘save the world.’  Our second team included Alexander McGovern (chair), Isobel Wanstall (questioner) and Henrik Kane (speaker) who supported fellow pupils from Folkestone.  Henrik spoke about how children should be ‘encouraged to start earning their own pocket money as soon as possible’.  Alexander and Isobel chaired and questioned a pupil from Folkestone Girls who spoke about how the government’s ‘main priority should be saving the environment.’

After all the chaired, speaking sessions finished, the judges deliberated and announced the winners.  Isobel Wanstall won the award for Best Questioner and our second team consisting of Alexander, Isobel and Henrik were awarded the winning team of the evening.  They will now compete in the South-East Regional Final at the ESU Headquarters, Darmouth House, London in March.  We wish them the very best of luck on their next public speaking competition.