Schools compete at St Mary’s in the Colchester Heat of the ESU Public Speaking Competition

19 January 2018

Schools compete at St Mary’s in the Colchester Heat of the English Speaking Union Public Speaking Competition

St Mary’s Year 9 student, Laura won the prize for Best Questioner in the Colchester Heat of the English-Speaking Union (ESU) Public Speaking Competition on Monday 15 January, held for the first time at St Mary’s Senior School. Run in association with the respected International Churchill Society, teams from St Mary’s, Colchester High School, Colchester County High School, and Colchester Royal Grammar School entered. The event saw students delivering some inspiring speeches on subjects from sleeping patterns and the need to help the poorest children in the world to Harry Potter and Pokémon Go! St Mary’s teams examined the topics ‘Harry Potter 20 years on; is he still standing the test of time?’ and ‘Early bird or night owl; which would you rather be?’.

The students took on one of three roles – Chairman, Speaker or Questioner. The Chairman is responsible for introducing everyone; giving a profile of the Speaker (who is from another school); and keeping an eye on time-keeping. The Speaker gives a five minute talk on the topic provided by the ESU, then answers questions from the Questioner of another school to initiate dialogue about the topic with the audience.

Colchester County High School and Colchester Royal Grammar School won overall and were though to the next round of the competition to be held at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.  

Mrs Anderley Hampson, English Teacher at St Mary’s said “This event is one of many public speaking events St Mary’s School takes part in, the students spoke beautifully and were clearly passionate about the subjects they were presenting. This competition and others like it, provide invaluable experience for our girls in building their confidence and helps to enhace their skills ready for the next step in their education”.

Founded in 1918 by the writer and journalist Sir Evelyn Wrench, The English-Speaking Union (ESU) is an international educational charity and membership organisation that brings together people of different languages and cultures in over 50 countries. Through the help of their branches and international ESUs, they run educational programmes, competitions and cultural exchanges to develop confident communicators, critical thinkers and empowered citizens.

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