Once again, the District 1200 Final for Youth Speaks was a great success with teams of young people astounding the audience with their skills and expertise in public speaking.
With a new format which emphasises debate and rhetoric this year's final was once again held at Kings of Wessex Academy in Cheddar. Nine teams from across the District competed in both the Senior and Intermediate competitions having already secured their place by beating other teams at Club and Semi-Final rounds. Intermediate competitors included Churchill Academy, Melksham Oak School, Kingsmead School and Sir John Colfox Academy. The Senior participants included, Sexey's School, SirJohn Colfox Academy and Melksham Oak School.
Winners of the Intermediate section were Churchill Academy with their proposition, hotly debated, that 'Homework should be banned'. Whilst judges applauded the confidence and articulation of the team, rather surprisingly the considerably young audience voted against the proposition in the 'fun' vote that followed the debate.
Winners of the Senior section, the Melksham Oak School, enlivened the audience with the yet unresolved debate on the European Union, with the proposition that, 'In order to secure a beneficial deal, the UK must align itself with EU legislation'. In the fun audience vote that followed those for and against were well balanced but judges rewarded the team's performance with the winning ticket, applauding their research and mature and good humoured delivery.
Awards for Best Speaker were awarded to Cressida Peel, from Sexy's School in the Senior section who spoke passionately and convincingly on the topic of 'Social media and its benefit to young people'. In the Intermediate competition, Best Speaker was awarded to Roland Ross of Sir John Colfox Academy for his vivacity and conviction that 'School Uniform is redundant in the modern society'.
Runners up include Sexey's School in the Senior section and Melksham Oak School in the Intermediate section.
Well done to all teams that competed and ensured the event was both a huge success and highly entertaining. Winning teams and runners-up will now represent the District at the Regional Final on 21st March, in Exmouth.
Thanks are extended to the adjudicators, John Holden, Judy Carslake, Mary Noble, Delia Paveling and Angela Snow all of whom brought their combined experience to bear in making those tough final decisions.
The District is grateful to all Clubs who participated in the various rounds of Youth Speaks, those who organise the Semi-Finals and District Final and also parents and especially those school staff who support and train students in the high standards exhibited.
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