Public speaking, research, teamwork and the ability to debate well, are vital skills for life.

In addition to the daily opportunities pupils get to develop these all important skills in their lessons and tutor time, Warminster regularly enter teams into competitions such as the annual Rotary Youth Speaks Competition.

The Rotary Youth Speaks Competition is a well-established and successful competition organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.  It is a four-stage competition which is designed to support and encourage the development of effective communication skills.

This competition aims to offer young people:

  • experience in speaking on a public platform as a member of a team
  • an incentive to formulate ideas on topical subjects
  • discipline in dealing with a topic in a limited time
  • the opportunity of learning and practising high standards of expression, presentation and appearance
  • impartial feedback and assessment of performance by experienced adjudicators

Each team consists of three pupils and select an issue for debate.  One member of the team will speak on one side of the matter, the second will oppose, while the third performs the vital role of ‘Chair’ – holding everything together!  The team are given fifteen minutes in total to present their debate, plus additional time for answering questions from the audience.  They are scored on content, delivery, teamwork and the ability to keep to time.

This year we entered two teams into the competition. On the 23rd January we journeyed to Salisbury to compete against other local schools. We are delighted to announce that our team consisting of Oliver Corker (Chair), Sam Milner-Smith (Proposer) and Henry Williams (Opposer) won the round! They engaged the audience and judges with thoughtful and passionate speeches on the question ‘should the NHS be privatised?’.

Our team consisting of Mia Ballauf, Merve Akyen and Sofiya Cogswell also performed admirably, especially given both Merve and Mia were delivering their speeches in what for them is a second language!  We are very proud of both teams.

The winning team now proceed to the next round of the competition and we wish them well.  Hopefully their success will encourage even more pupils to put themselves forward for these opportunities in the future!

Hywel Carr, Teacher of Business, Economics, Politics