Public Speaking Competition

Mrs McLarnon tells us about the welcome return of public speaking and the success of our own students during their first outing:

Students at the Rotary Public Speaking competition

After a hiatus of two years, the national public speaking competition Youth Speaks hosted by the Rotary Club is back on.  This year our team was comprised of four Year 11 students: Farrah, Oliver, Caitlyn and Katarina, all of whom were heroic in their efforts.  Why?  Because the competitions fell exactly in the middle weekend of their mock exams.  Because the team was beset by Covid.  Because the dates changed three times and Caitlyn had to step in at the last moment to replace Katarina.  And, of course, because their teacher came down with covid at the last minute and their final rehearsal had to happen via Teams.

If this isn’t a lesson in resilience and persistence I don’t know what is!

Anyway, the topic this year was: Are human beings devolving?  That’s right, the team debated whether human evolution, advancement and progress has halted, mainly due to the influence of social media and is actually in decline.

I think that the case for the opposition won by a narrow margin but still, the debate raised some interesting ideas and contained moments of levity along with some more serious and philosophical musings.

The result?  Our team were described as “charismatic” and “impressive”.  We came a close runner up to Alcester Grammar School and proved irresolutely that progress is possible even against terrible odds.  A great return to public speaking events and a fine performance by accomplished and dedicated students who represent the very best of Heart of England School.