On Thursday 19th January, Bishop Wordsworth’s School hosted the second round of the ESU Public Speaking Competition. The hosts did a fabulous job making everyone feel welcome; they even went on to win the round with their controversial topic discussing whether fiction can teach us more than fact.
See main photo (right): ESU Salisbury President Mr David Stratton with the winning team - Bishop's Wordsworth School: Martin Endersby, Ben Blackburn and Curtis Leung.
Ben Blackburn spoke about this issue with an offensive stance making some clear, concise points. Education was a key theme chosen throughout the night with Winchester College, who came as runners up, taking on the topic of “Who should set the curriculum – teachers or politicians?” creating a lively debate throughout the audience full of students and teachers. The support received from all teams by their mentors and teachers was outstanding. Unfortunately, Mr Harrison from South Wilts Grammar School, could not make it and bring his lucky tie.
The standards were higher than ever with South Wilts Grammar School and St Mary’s in the mix. After their eventful journey to Salisbury, where they seemed to enjoy the picturesque views, St Mary’s took the audience to a dystopian future where domestic robots were being used. Massive congratulations to the team who swept up the individual award for best questioner after probing Rory Benton, speaker for Winchester.
Photo (above): St Mary’s Southampton team with our President are Annie Ramkumar, Jack Weaver and Alex Lopez (best questioner)
The South Wilts Grammar school team also stood out with the most passionate speech of the evening where Thea Ralph (Best Speaker) spoke with poise about the current immigration crisis; not only this but offering solutions to the problems arising.
Leanne Newman – chairperson, and Rachael Rahman – questioner also showed brilliant oratory skills under pressure with Rachael mustering 5 minutes’ worth of questions. The team would not be complete without the speech writer, Sibella Egerton, giving the South Wilts team a whole new dynamic as one of the few schools who chooses to have a four man team.
Photo (above) South Wilts Grammar School team, names from the left David Stratton, Rachael Rahman, Leanne Newman, Sibella Egerton and Thea Ralph (best speaker).
Besides the judges, organisers and mentors the competition would not run as smoothly as it does without the chair people. Making sure timings are perfect and summating the whole event are just a couple of the jobs the chair people must master. A victory for Winchester as the team claimed the individual prize for best chairperson – well done Theo Marcotty!
Photo (above) Winchester College team from the left David Stratton, Roy Benton, Tom Bullivant and Theo Marcotty (best chair).
All in all, everyone involved had a lovely evening. Whilst the result that took much deliberation, everyone was in agreement that the standard in the South West is extremely high and all teams would have deserved to make it through to the next round. Once again, we congratulate Bishops for their victory and thank Mr Endersby for the sandwiches and tea.
With thanks to Alexandra Nikolin and Katherine d’Apice, mentors for this year's SWGS team and authors of this news story.
This story was submitted by the ESU Salisbury branch. Please click here for information on this branch and its upcoming events.