The College welcomed Wymondham High Academy and Gresham’s as the three schools battled it out for a spot in the regional rounds of the English-Speaking Unions Churchill Public Speaking competition.

After previously competing over Zoom and Teams due to COVID-19, it was the first time Framlingham College was able to play host to the the largest speaking contest in England and Wales, sponsored by the International Churchill Society.

Teams of three went head-to-head, each consisted of a Chairman, who presented an introduction and closing speech, a Speaker, who delivered an inspiring speech on a chosen topic and a Questioner, who was graded on their ability to listen and challenge elements of the Speakers speech.

The different roles allow pupils to practise and excel in a range of speaking skill sets, and the competition’s unique format, which pairs the speaker from one school with the chair and questioner of another, encourages quick thinking and relationship building.

Most importantly, the competition is an opportunity for pupils to develop their oracy skills in a friendly, supportive environment and encourages confidence, critical thinking, and social mobility.

Representing Framlingham was Toby B, Felix N and Ethan P. Framlingham and Wymondham kicked off the competition, with Toby B chairing the first round by introducing a powerful speech from Wymondham on ‘whether the means ever justifies the ends’. This was followed by a series of challenging and thought-provoking questions put forward by Felix N from the Framlingham team.

In the final round, it was Framlingham’s time to shine with a fascinating speech by Ethan P on ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ in which he highlighted potential flaws in our justice system and gave in-depth analysis on the workings of the prosecution service – with Wymondham stepping forward to challenge elements of Ethan’s speech.

Around 400 teams from schools across the UK compete to claim a spot in the Regional Finals in March. Peter Cherry, of the University of London was the competition judge. He said: “It was very interesting to listen to all the arguments and see the range of different speaking styles on offer here – with potential politicians in the making now doubt! In every team I have seen fantastic skills and potential – no one here should go home thinking they haven’t done themselves proud.”

In the end, it was Wymondham High Academy who took first place, and we wish them the very best of luck in the next round. A huge well done to everyone who took part and special congratulations to our Framlingham representatives, who we are immensely proud of.

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