Young Thanet speakers debate ‘Climate Change – A World in Crisis’

Youngsters at the public speaking competition

The passion and conviction of young children in a public speaking competition has won high praise.

Pupils representing partner schools in the Viking Academy Trust – Upton Juniors, Chilton Primary and Ramsgate Arts Primary – were outstanding in their heart-felt presentations titled Climate Change – A World in Crisis.

Trust Executive Head Teacher Michaela Lewis was highly impressed by the way each school’s ‘champions’ approached the whole challenge, from researching their material and preparing their presentations, through their in-school heats and to the big final.

She said: “The courage and confidence show by the ten Trust-wide finalists was exemplary, but what set our winners apart wasn’t just their confidence but the way they were able to connect with their audience.

“They showed great timing and structure in their speeches.  They spoke not only with their voices – their bodies and emotions also spoke volumes.

“To be able to master this, aged between 7 and 10 years old, to an audience of hundreds of people was remarkable.

“It clearly demonstrated how deeply they feel about climate change. It is an important global topic that really resonated with our children who spoke from the heart – the passion and conviction shone through in each of the ten finalists.

“Our public speaking challenges also illustrate well that communication is a two-way process. People are more willing to speak when they feel listened to.

“So our children were learning to be ‘active listeners’ too and developed skills in how to engage in conversations with attention and kindness. These are vital learning skills and valuable assets for the rest of their educational careers and in life in general.”

Gemma Scarr, Head of Curriculum at Upton, co-ordinated the event. She said: “I am sure I speak for the staff, families, and pupils when I say that each two-minute presentation was engaging, informative and compelling. We all learnt a great deal and it certainly made us think.

“It was amazing to see how each child had interpreted the topic from PowerPoints about single-use plastic; a story that was a look to the future and factual speeches full of scientific vocabulary.

“The standard was extremely high and the judges had a difficult decision and ended up choosing two people to take joint third place. Every child should be extremely proud of themselves for being so courageous and representing their school, and the Trust, so well.”

The competitors from Years 3 to 6 were:  Upton School – Angel, Max, Donna and Rebeka; Chilton School – Bradley, Luke and Finley; Ramsgate Arts Primary – Ryan, Danika and Henry

After a lot of deliberation the judges eventually decided that best speaker was Rebeka which means Upton retain the trophy for the second year. Second was last year’s winner Angel (Upton), with Danika (RAPS) and Finley (Chilton) joint third place.