On Tuesday 23 January, St Thomas More Catholic School in Wood Green hosted the Haringey Regional finals of Jack Petchey’s ‘Speak Out’ Challenge 2017-18. The challenge, which is run by Speakers Trust and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation is a public speaking competition open to Year 10 pupils of state schools in London and Essex which focuses on developing students skills and confidence in public speaking. Eleven neighboring Haringey schools participated in the event.
The Mayor of Haringey, Councillor Stephen Mann, led the presentation ceremony. The evening was opened by Executive Headteacher, Martin Tissot, and MC for the night was the current Regional Champion 2017 and St Thomas More Student, Lin Ly. Also present on the night were the fifteen competition judges comprising of local dignitaries.
Students from St Thomas More also provided entertainment, including a guitar solo from pupil Jayden Malinzi, and closing act provided by four singers from Year 7.
St Thomas More pupil, Souharda Chanda delivered his speech ‘Unsocial Media’ with eloquence, whilst Ayarna Witter-Morgan’s personal speech ‘Shapeless’ led her to win 2nd place on the night, making her runner up of the 2017-18 Haringey Regional Final. She was delighted to have won an award, ‘By doing this challenge, I have learned to be more confident in myself and now I know that you should take every opportunity you're given’.
Natasha Agostini, English teacher and organiser of the event at St Thomas More said, ’Having had the opportunity to work alongside Speakers Trust with the ‘Speak Out’ Challenge for the last three years, I am extremely proud of the flair and growth in confidence of our Year 10 pupils year on year.’ Congratulations to all the finalists and the overall regional winner, Gemima Iseka-Bekano from Gladesmore Community School, who will go on to represent Haringey at the semi-finals in May.