This month, some of our most talented public speakers were awarded their certificates for success in the Catenian public speaking competition that took place in the Spring term. Members of the Catenian Society also presented our school with the Ambrose Griffiths trophy and the Thomas Clifford trophy to celebrate the fact that the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 winners are students in our school. Both of these trophies have previously been won by Year 13 student Clare Aspray, so our Year 9 and 10 students are keeping the tradition of Sacred Heart excellence in public speaking very much alive!
Winners Sophie Ritson and Davida Ngaujah along with runner up Denise Tepace were invited to celebrate their success with Mrs Howell and members of the sixth form student leadership team.
Sophie and Denise shared some of their thoughts on the public speaking competition and a short extract from each of their successful speeches:
“When I was first invited to be part of the competition I knew I wanted to participate. Miss Dinn told all the girls that this was an amazing opportunity to learn and practise public speaking; something that we otherwise would never have gotten the chance to do.
From the start, the teachers and the former Head-girl were so helpful and supportive. They arranged to help us at lunchtime, giving us tips on how to present and what we could add to our speeches. I think if I didn't have help from Clare Aspray (who had won the competition in previous years) and the teachers, I probably wouldn't have performed with such ease and confidence.
The whole build-up and preparation for the competition was so exciting! Denise Tepace and I attended a semi-final competition in the Rose Auditorium for all the primary schools in the Bishop Bewick Trust. They competed to go through to the real competition. This was definitely a highlight for me. The level at which the children presented and performed blew me away.
It has been an amazing journey and I am so proud to say I went and represented our school alongside Denise and Davida!”
Others will say that someone being born into a monarchy should not necessarily make them suitable to be head of state and represent our nation. However, history shows that for some 1000 years, we have had a monarchy and that the royal family (certainly in modern times) have always been amazing ambassadors for the U.K. and maintain extremely high levels of popularity across the globe. A Great British Icon, Queen Elizabeth II, hailed as the perfect example of what a nation's leader should be, by all the other heads of state around the globe after her passing. If not the monarchy, who better to represent our nation? The politicians?
Sophie Ritson Year 9
“Initially, the idea of taking part in a public speaking competition was incredibly daunting for me. As a musician, I have had some previous experience performing in front of an audience, but never without a piano or guitar to hide behind. I felt this was an opportunity to challenge myself and convince a crowd purely with my own thoughts and words. My favourite part of the process was the writing stage; I chose to do my speech on childhood dreams and ambition as I felt this was something that everyone could relate to, and the words just seemed to flow out onto paper. Ultimately, I'm glad I took part and I wouldn't have done so well without the support of the school and my friends.”
What changed? What changed from those larger-than-life dreams we had when we were little? I think the biggest difference between children and adults is that children don’t even perceive the possibility of falling before they jump. They don’t even consider the fact that there’s only a 1 in a million chance that they’re going to make it- they just don’t care.
Denise Tepace Year 12