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Year 9 hone their public speaking skills

Year 9 DLS recently completed their annual public speaking competition. Pupils chose a topic of interest and were challenged to speak for four minutes demonstrating a clear purpose, effective structure and engaging content as well as fielding questions from the audience. 

This year was one of the highest standards we’ve ever seen with a range of fascinating topics from politics to hobbies. In addition to being assessed by teachers, pupils were assessed by their peers and they employed a range of techniques, and plenty of comedy, to win over their peers. The competition included a 200 word story written by pupils that was related to their topic in a creative way.

Highly commended are: Anna for her speech on Bansky’s development and rise to fame, Ayden’s imagining of being Headmaster for a day; Zebedee who extolled the virtues of cooking as an essential skill and William’s explanation of the importance of tractors to our survival. 

Second place goes to Dylan who spoke very knowledgably about prehistoric animals; he kept the audience interested and supported their understanding with a slide of images and careful explanations. Also in second place is Freddie who offered an insight into the world of trainers. He linked his ideas well to produce a coherent speech packed with interesting information, fielding questions with ease.

First place was impossible to decide, with two winners. India impressed both teachers and peers in equal measure. Her speech was cleverly structured and organised to give an insight behind the scenes at a West End theatre, and her story about opening night gave new meaning to the phrase ‘break a leg’. Maisie spoke passionately about equal pay for women’s football, grabbing our attention with stats and facts, highlighting the differences in pay and sustaining it throughout. It was a standout speech: well balanced, carefully structured and delivered with confidence, making good use of pace and intonation for effect. 

In another Year 9 DLS class, pupils have also been honing their public speaking skills. The group were tasked with planning, preparing and delivering a speech on a given title with the theme of ‘If…’ as well as evaluating each other. All pupils rose magnificently to the challenge and produced considered points of view, delivered with eloquence, and fair assessments of the work of others. Miss Mills and Mrs Harper really enjoyed hearing Charlie’s imagined conversations with his Year 6 self and Ben’s outlandish plans for being Headmaster for a day. The scores were incredibly close.

Highly commended is David for his response to the title ‘If I had three wishes’. David was very well spoken and presented his wishes as not only for his personal gain, but also the benefit of all mankind. For example, he explained how his wish for unlimited money would be used for wiping out disease and ensuring access to clean water and shelter around the world.

Second place goes to Eve who wrote on the topic of ‘If I could meet a historical figure’. Eve could not decide between Edgar Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde, making an excellent case for both. She explained why both are of particular interest to her personally and considered what she could gain from meeting them. The audience certainly learned a great deal about the impact of these two figures on Eve, as well as on literature and society.

The winner is Hattie whose speech ‘If I could time travel’ was exceptionally well structured, exploring the case for travelling back in time as well as forward. Hattie spoke beautifully about traveling to the 80s to find out about her mum’s school and meet her grandmother, with whom she shares so much. She also reflected on her life so far, considering how she could make different decisions, such as continuing with ballet. Her exploration of life in the year 3000 showed a keen interest in technology and architecture, as well as an entrepreneurial streak, planning to exploit her newfound knowledge on return to 2023!

This unit of work, never fails to impress and this group did not disappoint.

Well done to all of Year 9 DLS who have set an exceptionally high bar.

Miss Mills
DLS Department