The finalists of our annual Public Speaking Competition delivered some stellar performances this week.
Every girl in Year 7 to 10 participates in our public speaking contest each year, with each pupil delivering a speech in front of her classmates. The top students from each class then go head to head in front of their whole year group, with a panel of teachers acting as judges.
An entire day was given over to the final, with 38 girls competing across the four year groups. Each of the finalists put an impressive display, delivering engaging speeches with poise and confidence. Topics ranged from the serious (such as the risks of keeping nuclear weapons and the US electoral system) to the humorous – the whole room was in stitches during one Year 8’s hilarious deconstruction of the logic of fairy tales. The judges were struck by the girls’ ability to speak so articulately under pressure, as their unprepared responses were of an extremely high standard.
In the end, there was a worthy winner and two runners-up in each year group. In Year 7, Olivia (‘Brilliant Boulders Beach’) took the top prize, while the runners-up were Amber (‘Veganism’) in second and Ines (‘Is it ever justifiable to break the law?’) in third. In Year 8, the winner was Emilie (‘Ants’), with Sophia (‘Stuff, Things and Thingamabobs’) taking second and Noa (‘Twinkies versus Crispy Crunch’) taking third. In Year 9, Charlotte (‘The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Anti-Semitism’) took the top spot, with Manon (‘Why Things Aren’t as Bad as They Seem’) coming second and Vrinda (‘My Family Holidays’) coming third. Finally, in Year 10, the winner was Rebecca (‘Quinoa’), with Maisie (‘Heartbeat Bills’) and Thea (‘It’s Our Future’) in joint second place and Shanti (‘Privilege’) in third.
The event reflected the continued importance of oracy at South Hampstead, with all girls performing to an excellent standard.