On Monday, Lower Sixth students took part in a day of public speaking workshops in order to enhance their portfolio of soft skills. In a highly participative day, the students learnt how to prepare and deliver an effective, sophisticated and well-constructed speech, as well as how to think quickly through impromptu speaking. In the afternoon, within each training group, everyone took part in a speaking competition, after which they gained immediate, constructive feedback from both their peers and trained coaches; twelve students were then chosen to take part in a public speaking competition to an audience of the whole year group.
Once everyone had assembled in the auditorium for the competition, Head of Sixth Form, Mr Phil Abbott, told the students that he and the trainers had been extremely impressed by the way they had all thrown themselves into everything asked of them during the day and also how supportive they had been of one another. The twelve competitors then took to the stage and ably demonstrated the skills they had been practising throughout the day; on topics ranging from deforestation, through the pleasures of fostering cats, to the importance of humility in high office, the students spoke eloquently, engagingly and effectively, without use of props or notes.
After some deliberation by the judging panel, Deputy Head Academic, Ms Nicole Weatherston, congratulated all of the participants, and announced the winners in traditional reverse order: 3rd – Ciamhe (The Impact of British Rap Culture); 2nd – Estelle (27 Soccer Fields A Minute); 1st – Head Girl, Sarah (The Wonder of Words). The skills gained by the whole of the Lower Sixth will be invaluable for interviews and presentations, whether for university or in the workplace beyond.