This half-term Fyling Hall students have been working hard practising their persuasive skills, writing and delivering speeches for the Whitby Rotary Club’s annual Youth Speaks competition.

FullSizeRender-2-1280x960[1]Each year students deliver their speeches in school for their English classmates and teachers, and several of the most effective speeches are chosen to be sent to the competition itself, which is organised by the Rotary Club of Whitby and held in the elegant function room of the Saxonville Hotel.  This year’s event was held last Wednesday evening, 26 November, and Fyling Hall, as customary, was represented by some of our finest young speakers.  Competing teams are made up of three members: the chairman, who introduces the team and directs proceedings; the main speaker, who delivers the five-minute persuasive speech on an important and/or controversial contemporary topic; and the proposer of the vote of thanks, who reiterates the main points of the speech and invites applause from the audience.

With so many stand-out speeches at the school-wide competition the week before, Fyling Hall felt it appropriate to give as many of our students as possible an opportunity to compete at the Saxonville.  For this reason, our school was represented by two junior teams (Key Stage 3 students) and two senior teams (students at Key Stages 4 and 5), each team giving itself a creative name appropriate to its members and its topic.  Our students persuaded those in attendance of their viewpoints on such difficult, complicated questions as “Is there such a thing as a just war?”; “Should personal be sacrificed to the need for security in an age of increasing surveillance?”; and “Should ‘Parenting’ be compulsory on the secondary school curriculum?”

Participating Fyling Hall teams were:

On the subject of ‘Parenting’ on the curriculum:

– The Next Generation (junior) – Thomas Dixon (Chairman), Alethea Shepherd (Main Speaker), and Silas Venus-Haslett (Proposer)

– Mum’s The Word (senior) – Asa Jones (Chairman), Meghan Chandler (Main Speaker), and Michael O’Sullivan (Proposer)

On the subject of surveillance invading privacy:

– Orwell’s Orator’s (junior) – Reo Smith (Chairman), Joe Husband (Main Speaker), and Maeve Sutterby (Proposer)

Due to unexpected circumstances, Amy El-Barghouty was called upon to propose the Vote of Thanks and served admirably in that role.

On the subject of the possibility of a just war:

– Corbin’s Corporals (senior) – Su Kim (Chairman), Corbin Shearing (Main Speaker), and Roberto Matos (Proposer)

Parents and family members attended Wednesday evening in support of our students, and they were joined by several Fyling Hall staff members, including their English teachers and our headmaster, Mr Allen.  All the Fyling Hall participants excelled and delivered convincing performances, and they also gained valuable experience constructing convincing arguments and delivering them confidently in a public environment.  With so many junior competitors and Year 10 students this year, Fyling Hall will undoubtedly continue to make excellent showings at Youth Speaks in years to come.