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Home > News and views > Devon & Exeter educational programmes: Public speaking & Discover Your Voice

Devon & Exeter educational programmes: Public speaking & Discover Your Voice

Public Speaking Competition Autumn 2017

In the Autumn of 2017, the branch, once again, organised this event for schools in Devon. The participating schools were, St. James School, Exeter; Colyton Grammar School; Blundell’s School and Torquay Girls Grammar School, each of whom entered two teams.

The topics covered included topics such as ‘Does the arrival of multimedia dull creativity?’; ‘Should we all be feminists now?’; ‘Where are all the rebels?’; ‘Does exaggeration matter?’ – a veritable feast for thoughts and words.

The winner of the branch rounds was team 1 from Torquay Girls Grammar School, who proceed to the regional (South West) final in March 2018. The winner from the regional final will progress to the national final in Cambridge.

Grateful thanks are due our members who gave of their time to act as judges and organisers, without whom the event could not take place.

Encouraging schools to participate is, as with the DYV programme, a challenge. There is general acknowledgement of the excellence of the competition and the benefits for the children who take part. Schools and most particularly, the maintained schools have to work within the confines of the increasingly prescribed curriculum. The additional burden on hard pressed staff and finding the time for the event is difficult but those who participate show that it can be done, usually as the result of the encouragement and effort of an energetic member of staff, enthused by the idea.

Main photo: Paul Waterworth with the Branch Winning Team Torquay Girls Grammar School

Discover Your Voice Training Autumn 2017

In the history of the ESU, Discover Your Voice (DYV) training is a relatively new development. The concept is that, under the tutelage of a professional mentor, a group of students gather for a day of intensive training in the art of the formation and cogent expression of ideas. It is a teaching method which has proved successful and popular with schools, staff and students.

Twenty five secondary age students took part in a training day which we held in early October 2017 at the Exeter Golf and Country Club. The students, accompanied by staff from their schools, were drawn from four schools, namely, Torquay Girls’ Grammar School, St. Cuthbert Mayne School, Torquay; Blundell’s School, Tiverton; and Isca Academy, Exeter.

We would have liked more participants and working with Alex Bailey, the newly appointed Education Officer at Dartmouth House, we hope to be able to encourage greater participation next academic year from schools in Devon. We shall also examine whether it is feasible to hold more than a single such training day. The ambition of Dartmouth House is that the scheme should extend to primary age children and some branches have already embraced this idea with some considerable success.

This story was submitted by the ESU Exeter & Devon branch. Please click here for information on this branch and its upcoming events.

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