This year, the school has once again taken part in the Jack Petchey Speak Out! Challenge, which gives our Year 10 Gifted & Talented students the opportunity to refine and develop their public speaking skills. It began in November, with a twenty-five students selected to take part in a day-long workshop. This workshop was led by Al Brunker, and taught students the skills necessary to speak in front of large groups of people. This included sessions on body language, tone of voice, and how to construct your speech in a way that is dynamic and engaging. Although public speaking is a difficult skill, the boys threw themselves into the task; indeed, Mr Brunker said afterwards that they were “a creative and enthusiastic groups of students who really took well to the day”. During the workshop, students had to create a 2-3 minute speech on a topic of their choosing; six students were then chosen to take part in the school final: Farhad Ahmed, Deven Clarke, Qaiser Khan, Mateeullah Kakar, Tim Volle and Kareem Zeido.

G&T students from Years 7-9 were invited to watch the school final on Tuesday 12 January, where the winner would progress to the regional finals of the competition. There was an excellent turnout from our younger students, eager to see what the Year 10s had come up with. For the school final, the students were again asked to make a 2-3 minute speech, either on their workshop topic or a new, separate one. The boys rose to the challenge, taking on diverse topics such as ‘Love’, ‘Opportunities’ and ‘War and Peace’. It was almost impossible to call, and judges Miss Cox, Miss Hannon and Mr Milligan spent about ten minutes deliberating their verdict. They decreed that Mateeullah Kakar was the overall winner, progressing to the regional final at Chiswick School on Monday 25 January. Qaiser Khan will be the reserve.

Well done to the boys for their outstanding effort, and we wish Mateeullah all the best in the regionals!


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