Public Speaking Competition 2020

Senior School
13 Mar 20

Last Thursday, Miss Manning and Mr Carr hosted the Prep School Public Speaking event, held annually here at SVS in the Library. There was a fantastic turnout with eight teams from four schools participating, all competing for the Adrian Wyles shield. Adrian, who was a former Head of Sixth Form and Academic Deputy Head, led public speaking for many years during his time at SVS, making the shield a fitting tribute to him.

Here is Miss Manning’s account of the evening:

“The teams each consisted of three pupils: a chairperson, a speaker and a vote of thanks.  For many Year 6 pupils competing, this was the very first time they have had to speak and compete in front of an audience of approximately 50 to 60 people. 

Each school fielded two teams with topics ranging from ‘There’s too much emphasis on fashion nowadays’ to ‘All plastic packaging should be banned in the next five years’.  The standard of the competition was exceptionally high, making it a very difficult job for our judges, Dr Michael Hughes and Mr Richard Plowden, to decide on an overall winner.

The winning team, comprising up of George, Adam and Fernando from Solefield School, argued that ‘Chess should be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics’.  It was an exceptionally accomplished speech, delivered with humour and passion.  The runners-up were from Derwent Lodge and their team, made up of Bryony, Elena and Frankie, were arguing that ‘Learning a musical instrument should be compulsory up to the age of 16.’  The girls worked very well as a team and were very persuasive with their arguments.

The two teams from SVPS discussed whether ‘Dogs make better pets than cats’ and the more serious topic of ‘Not all disabilities are visible’.  I was very impressed by their delivery and their ability to work as a team.

A huge thank you to Mr Carr for organising this competition and to all of the participants, teaching staff and parents who supported this event.”

Julie Manning, Head of Public Speaking

Mr Carr also received this lovely feedback from a parent:

“Dear Mr Carr,

I just wanted to thank you for organising the speaking competition yesterday and to let you know just how much my son enjoyed it. He is at Solefield and had never taken part in anything like this before. He was excited to have won, but not only that, but he was also really interested in the other teams’ speeches and the points they made and was talking about them the whole evening after we got back home. 

It was a really useful experience for all the children who took part and I think they will all have benefited enormously from it. He was also absolutely thrilled to get a £5 Amazon voucher which he’s now planning to use to get a very special screwdriver!

Thank you so much for all the trouble you went to in organising and hosting the event, it is very much appreciated.”

Congratulations to all that participated, what a wonderful event to be a part of.