The Year 10 Jack Petchey Speakout Challenge

If you are someone who gets embarrassed answering a question in lessons or reading aloud to a class, just imagine standing up in the library and answering one of these questions in detail:

‘If you were a biscuit, which type would you be?’

‘You are a language expert. Explain to the class the meaning of the new word snollyguster.’

‘What kind of fruit are you and why?’

On the 5th March, 31 brave Year 10 pupils, all nominated by their English teachers, enjoyed a challenging and exciting day of public speaking training.  After a few warm ups involving some of the above questions, the Year 10s told their own memorable stories to the group.  All through their warm ups and stories pupils provided their peers with honest, constructive advice- often involving body language, over-use of the word ‘like’ and telling them off for saying ‘Basically’!

By the end of the day all students delivered an unscripted speech to their peers and some in-house judges including Mrs Jethwa.  There was a fantastic variety of topics selected by pupils which included such issues as:

  • Small acts of kindness
  • The dangers of the pursuit of perfection
  • Fear of baldness
  • Being small and proud
  • Not neglecting the underdog

After a long discussion, there were four students chosen to go forward to the next stage: Ruby, Jasper, Alyssa and Amy.  This was a very difficult decision with so many strong speakers but these four were all excellent in very different ways.

The next stage takes place over the course of a week’s assemblies where the four top placed speakers present their speeches to all of the school.  These assemblies, although nerve-wracking, are inspirational events and are among the most memorable assemblies of the year.  Make sure you are a brilliant audience for your peers when they deliver their assembly speeches.

One student will be selected go through to the regional final on 16th May at St Edward’s School, Romford where representatives of Havering schools compete to move on to the national final.  This star-studded event is a wonderful night for all and lives long in the memory of competitors, parents, carers and teachers.  Supporters of our Abbs Cross representative will be welcomed at the regional final.

Finally, Year 10 students would like to thank Mr O’Brien for all of his support in preparing and organising this incredible event.


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