Inaugural House Public Speaking Competition (Year 8)

“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.”
-D.H. Lawrence

Everything we do in the English Department is underpinned by our vision statement where we work together to ensure our students are allowed to become the ‘cultured, engaged and informed’ citizens who are a force for good in modern Britain. The role public speaking has in fostering the aforementioned is not to be underestimated.

On what was a politically tumultuous day, our inaugural House Public Speaking Competition was held on Thursday 7th July 2022 showcasing the very best Year 8 public speakers HGS has to offer.

The journey to the final event began in March when curriculum time was given over to the teaching of the art of rhetoric. Students learnt the theory that underpins the craft of public speaking and thus curate knowledge to plan, deliver and perform a public speech on a topic of their choice inspired by the units studied in year 8. Following this, one student from each house was selected to present to Year 8 students and invited guests.

The judges for the final, Mrs. Begum, Mr. Dubay and Mrs. Hussain listened to five speeches altogether on subjects as varied as space exploration, the life and impact of William Blake upon protest movements and whether humanity can overcome the obstacles it faces.

The quality of the speeches was truly exceptional and made the process of judging an unenviable task.

However, there was one clear winner and so the judges awarded the prize to David Akanihu (8N) for his interesting, informative and well-argued speech about the importance of space exploration. What elevated his speech above the others was his conviction and his ability to subtly employ persuasive methods and ideas effectively throughout his sophisticated argument.

Matching or exceeding the quality of this year’s final will be no easy feat and our current year 7s will have big shoes to fill. However, we believe that they’re up for any challenge and so we look forward to hearing what 2023’s participants have in store for us!