Flintshire students excel in school’s public speaking competition
A group of more able and talented (MAT) students from schools in Flintshire and Wrexham took part in the final of a public speaking competition.
Argoed High School, whose public speaking team were crowned Welsh Champions at the English-Speaking Union (ESU) Public Speaking Competition last year, organised and hosted the competition in preparation for the ESU competition in the Spring.
Teams from Ysgol Y Grango, Elfed High School, and Connah’s Quay High School joined the Argoed’s team for the final, where they debated topics including: ‘should the voting age be lowered to give 12 year olds a voice?’, and ‘are selfies art?’
Every team in the competition has three members, each with a specific role. The Argoed team members were Ethan Topley (Questioner), Niamh Howes Patterson (Speaker) and Ruby Parry (Chair).
Judging their performances was a panel of representatives from different schools and the Argoed’s year 11 public speaking team.
The winners were Oscar Lavelle, Ysgol Y Grango, for Best Questioner; Ruby Parry, Argoed High School, for Best Chair; Catrin Oldfield, Connah’s Quay High School, for Best Overall Speaker; and the Best Team Overall went to Connah’s Quay High School. They were each presented with certificates by Paul Smith, headteacher, Argoed High School.
Mike Lofts, assistant headteacher, organised the competition. He said: “We wanted to organise our own inter school competition to give the students a practice run ahead of the national ESU competition, which we are encouraging all the teams to enter. We replicated the format so that the students know what to expect and we hope they have found it beneficial.
“All the students displayed an array of skills brilliantly, such as thinking on their feet, using counter argument, and providing a convincing viewpoint. The winning team excelled in the three areas, providing a fluent and engaging speech, probing questions, and the chair was articulate and welcoming.
“This type of competition not only develops public speaking skills, but also the ability to listen, comprehend, and formulate a reasoned response. Developing all of these crucial communication skills at a young age is such a valuable experience for life, and, importantly, the world of work.
“We look forward to supporting teams entering the ESU competition and are excited to see where they go from there.”
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