Brilliant Brigstocke Performances

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The Final of the Baroness Brigstocke Memorial House Public Speaking Competition took place on Tuesday 25 June. It was hotly contested by the winning House Teams from the heats in May, with only a mark or two dividing some of the places.

There was a new format, based on the Rotary ‘Youth Speaks’ National competition in which our Intermediate Team of Lower IV students, Nikita, Gabrielle and Nikita, reached the National Final in Norwich, having previously won the Regional Final and best Chair awards. Each House chose a motion which was then presented as a prepared mini debate followed by questions posed by Mr Morton, Deputy Head. LV public speakers Amy, Grace and Teresa helped the event go smoothly and offered a vote of thanks after the presentation of awards.

The judges, Mrs Bennett from Reading Blue Coat School and Dr Bellamy, Deputy Head were impressed  with the level of intellectual engagement in the content of the speeches and counter arguments, as well as the confidence and sophistication of delivery. The audience of parents, House Captains, staff and Upper III students were engrossed in the arguments and the afternoon flew by. Our Chair of Governors, Liz Harrison, said that the presentations were the best she had ever seen at a Brigstocke Competition.

The Ducat team of Luna, Matilda and Shriya took first place, narrowly followed by Carrington as runner-up with their team of Saanvi, Gabrielle and Janani. This year, we also introduced some prizes for the best speaker in each role. These were awarded to Saanvi as Chair (Carrington), Matilda as Proposition Speaker (Ducat), and Nikita as Opposition Speaker (Paget).

The last words on the event go to the students who won awards this year:

DUCAT – Brigstocke cup and best Proposition Speech winners

‘I really enjoyed participating in Brigstocke this year. The competition was in a prepared debate format, which we had never done before. It was great being able to work as a team in order to write our speeches and plan our debate. I found this a wonderful opportunity to improve my skills in public speaking and to gain confidence in delivering a speech to an audience.’ (Shriya, Lower IV)

‘I loved being a part of Brigstocke on Tuesday. The standard was really high, so as well as it being fun to deliver my speech, it was also both interesting and informative to listen to the speeches of others. This was a great experience, as I very much like public speaking, but I don’t often get a chance to write and deliver speeches in teams. I’m so glad I did this, and while it was brilliant to win, any position would therefore have been rewarding.’ (Matilda Lower IV)

‘As someone who hasn’t really competed in a public speaking competition before, the experience was actually something I really enjoyed. Winning was something I had not expected but working in a team made everything less stressful.’ (Luna, Lower IV)

Best Chair (CARRINGTON)

‘The Baroness Brigstocke Memorial Public Speaking Competition this year was one I could not forget. Carrington, Paget, Ducat and Kensington had set the bar high with their convincing speeches. The experience was memorable and significant as it will be my last one as I took part in the finals last year. I would like to give my deepest thanks to the House Captains for their support, the Judges for their final and probably tough decision making, and for Ms Quant and the LV Host Team who organised the event this year.’ (Saanvi, Lower IV)

Best Opposition Speaker (PAGET)

‘This year’s Brigstocke was certainly an exciting and fulfilling experience, with all four Houses setting the standards extremely high. I know that all of the participants were well acquainted with each other, making it a friendly but tough competition, and in the end I was extremely proud to see how well we all did. Thank you to the Judges, the Chair of Governors, the House Captains as well as Ms Quant for her helpful guidance throughout the last few weeks, and of course, congratulations to everyone who took part!’ (Nikita, Lower IV)

Ms Quant

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