Public Speaking 2021
Cirencester Schools' Public Speaking Competition 2021
Over the past few years Cirencester Deer Park has taken part in the Cirencester Rotary Club annual Cirencester Schools’ Public Speaking competition, whereby a number of our pupils would showcase their prowess in public speaking at the Royal Agricultural University to their friends and family, the Rotary Club of Cirencester and pupils from other local secondary schools (read report from 2019).
A select number of our pupils have been working since the start of June in dedicated after-school sessions – within their year groups bubbles - with English teachers Mr Lay and Mrs Voss to hone their public speaking skills. The aim was for the teachers to choose four ‘finalists’ to perform their speech in the Public Speaking competition. Each pupil came up with their own topic. With guidance from each other and the teachers involved, pupils presented their speeches with vigour, passion and eloquence. It was a tough decision for Mrs Voss and Mr Lay to choose the pupils who would present to the Rotary Club members. The finalists were: Zach (new Year 11), Dan (new Year 11), Amber (new Year 10) and Lizzi (new Year 9).
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in 2021, this year’s Rotary Club competition took place via Zoom on Wednesday 7 July 2021. Our pupils were competing with another local school for the prestigious ‘Fred Perkin Cup’ which is awarded to the overall winner for the night.
After making sure they were all home in time, at 6.15pm the pupils started to deliver their speeches to an entranced virtual audience of Cirencester Rotary Club members. Dan was the first to deliver, talking about the perception of LGBTQ+ people in today’s society. His speech was passionate and hard-hitting and certainly asked questions of the audience. Next up was Zach, with a presentation on ‘the humble sandwich’ that was original, informative and amusing. Our Year 10 representative Amber delivered an impassioned speech persuading her audience to take up the mantle of feminism - she spoke of her experiences and observations about the world around her with a maturity beyond her years. Our final ‘delegate’ was Lizzi, who delivered her speech on the impact of climate change on our lives. She shocked the audience with her statistics, spoke from the heart and implored the audience to consider their responsibility for our world. Lizzi received a ‘Special Mention’ from the panel of judges.
All four of our pupils spoke clearly, adapting their tone and vocabulary to fit the ‘new-normal’ situation in which they were delivering their speech. Although the overall winner was awarded to a student from another school, our pupils should all be commended for their courage, their willingness to speak out, and their professional approach!
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher, was pleased to present their certificates and gift vouchers in school on Wednesday 14 July: ‘I commend our pupils on their passion and commitment. Speaking publicly and holding the attention of an audience on screen is not easy. Their chosen topics were relevant to today and require positive action from us all. I am pleased Mr Lay and Mrs Voss chose to balance these with some light relief! Well done to all four pupils on challenging themselves!’
Cirencester Deer Park School would like to thank all the participants, the audience members and the Rotary Club of Cirencester for this opportunity.
The pupils said:
'I was nervous at the start but it was a lovely atmosphere and everyone was so supportive. I was impressed by all of the speeches.' Amber
'I really enjoyed it - there were some great topics that I found really interesting. The judging panel were so supportive and kind.' Lizzi
'It was great to have my voice heard.'