The Southern Section Heat of the East Region Sixth Form Public Speaking Competition was held after school hours on Tuesday, 9 October, generously hosted by St Thomas More High School for Boys, Westcliff-on-sea. The event was truly memorable not only for the talent on display but also for the seriousness of the topics chosen. Chris Ndlovu from the host school’s Team 1 and Adanna Achebe from Westcliff High School for Boys both spoke about knife crime and violence with Adanna claiming that drill music artists are not responsible for the phenomenon. In contrast, Emeka Ogbonna from St Thomas More Team 2 gave a personal account of conflict with fundamental religion manifested through the teaching of science . Notably, Rakin Ahmed, Navid Uddin, Blerona Sulejmani, Jotham Akinyanju, Andrw Twimasi and Kieran Williams, the chairs and questioners of the hosts’ team 2, team 1 and Westcliff High respectively, each showed their unique personality in their role.
The competition organizer, Brian Cooke, representing the East Region, invited Christine Webb, the coordinator from St Thomas More to present each of the participants with a certificate as a record of their achievement. The adjudicators, Former Mayor of Brightlingsea, Vivien Chapman, and ESU Head of Branch Education Liaison, Alex Bailey, then gave general feedback before announcing the winners in a genuinely close contest as St Thomas More School for Boys Team 1, who will progress to the final in November.
In case you’re wondering about girls’ names here, you ought to know that the sixth forms for both schools are co-educational!