Kingdown students were recently invited to compete in the Rotary Youth Speaks competition for 2020, and travelled to Melksham Oak Community School for an evening of debates. Topics ranged from ‘Brexit’ to ‘Saving the British High Street’ and the quality of all teams competing was noted by the judges to be of an exceptionally high standard.

Representing Kingdown, Ellen Archard ably introduced the team’s chosen subject; ‘Are Generation Z really a ‘snowflake’ generation’. Proposing the argument was Ellie Chatwin, while Jamie Riddle was tasked with opposition.

Each team were faced with a series of tough questions from the crowd, and both Ellie & Jamie did an excellent job giving insightful answers to these. After the break, the judges gave feedback to all teams before announcing the runners up and the winning team, both of whom will go forward to the next round. Here, Kingdown were awarded the second place for the evening – a fantastic achievement considering that both Jamie and Ellen have started working on their public speaking skills only recently and had never competed in a competition before!

The judges also presented an individual award to the best overall speaker of the evening. Here, they gave an honourable mention to Jamie, noting that he missed out on the award only very narrowly. The team now heads to the next round at Sheldon School for the Regional Semi-Finals, where the competition is bound to be of even greater quality and intensity.

If you’d like to compete in similar competitions, or just want to work on your confidence and speaking skills, all students are welcome to join the Orational Thinking Society, the after school club for public speaking and debating that meets every Tuesday in E17.