We are delighted to share the news of last year’s Lower Sixth’s successes in their Grade 8 Public Speaking LAMDA exams. Of the nine students who took part, seven achieved a distinction with the remaining two being awarded a merit. Our congratulations to all involved.

The Public Speaking exam is a Sixth Form academic enrichment option introduced last year as an option to run alongside EPQ, Mini MBA and the Mini MAPP (Positive Psychology).

The course involved working together to devise two speeches of the students’ own choosing, one of which had to be political in nature, which were then presented to a LAMDA examiner for assessment on both performance and content. There was also an impromptu speech prepared from a selection of topics provided by the examiner.

As well as strengthening their public speaking skills, some of the students involved particularly found that writing their political speech endowed them with a much richer understanding of some of the problems faced in our world at the present time. Izzy E. shared that she now has “a strong passion for reducing knife crime” as a result of the topics she explored when working on her politically orientated speech. Jemima B. added that “this experience was invaluable as it significantly increased my confidence when talking to larger audiences. In addition to this, I learned how to effectively research subjects and topics, write and put together a coherent speech and deliver speeches with emotional charge relevant to the subject.”

Both Izzy and Jemima said that they would definitely recommend the Public Speaking course to younger students. Lower Sixth student Ella C. who began the course this term says that it has already helped her confidence to grow “as it feels like a safe space to share my ideas as well as learn about other people’s interests.”

Mr Brassington, Director of Co-Curriculum, congratulated the students and said “Public Speaking is such an important life skill, and it was fantastic to work with our first Sixth Form Public Speaking group, who made a highly impressive start. It was very special to hear them speaking with passion and authority on a range of important subjects, including climate change, national identity, knife crime, social media and the #metoo movement.”

There are various opportunities for all years to build their confidence in public speaking, from debating activities in the Broader Curriculum to House Debating and Model United Nations. We look forward to reporting on further public speaking successes throughout the year.