Imagination, Empathy, Intelligence


On Wednesday 30 November our Senior Public Speaking Team competed in the ESU Public Speaking Competition. At the end of the evening, we found out that we were one of the top two schools progressing to the Branch Final in January!

Each member of the team had to utilise their quick-thinking skills in all three challenging roles – the first time we had done this at competition level. Grace took on the role of main speaker talking on the topic, ‘Fiction can teach us more than Fact’ in which she argued that fiction develops our imagination, empathy and emotional intelligence more than facts ever can. For six minutes, she answered some pretty challenging questions brilliantly, staying totally unfazed by whatever was thrown at her by the Reading Bluecoat B team!

Izzy and Aarini hosted a speaker from the Reading Blue Coat School A team who argued that, ‘Prisoners should have the right to vote’. Aarini took on the role of Chair introducing the speaker and summarising the proceedings (having never heard the speech before!); and Izzy was a quizzical questioner, probing the speaker and delving deeper into the topic. 

Despite having a minor technical hitch at the start, we settled down and ploughed through. Although it was hard work, our preparation and practices helped us to perform well and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Ms Quant said: ‘I was very proud of our team’s performance, especially since they are in the middle of their mock exams. In his feedback, the judge from the ESU said that all the presentations in the heat were of a very high standard. He was surprised that this was our team’s first competition, revealing that Grace had achieved the highest mark for a main speaker that evening.’

Aarini, Grace and Izzy, Upper V (Year 11)

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