We were delighted to have the opportunity to take part in the Archdiocese of Liverpool Public Speaking Event on Wednesday 6th July 2022, hosted at Arch Bishop Beck Catholic College.
The overall aim of the contest was to foster presentation and communication skills in young students, as all walks of life, especially the business world, are increasing reliant on these abilities. Topics included ‘What is Britishness in 2022’ and ‘The whole economy needs to be realigned around the goal of preventing climate change.’
Students from Notre Dame Catholic College, the Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Academy of St Nicholas, All Saints Catholic High School, Archbishop Beck Catholic College, Bellerive FCJ Catholic College, Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, St Edward’s College, St Francis Xavier’s College, St John Bosco Arts College and St Mary’s College came together to take part in the annual public speaking event.
Our year 8 student, Nicole, presented her argument for why ‘Schools should do more to support young people’s mental health’ eloquently and confidently. Our second student to speak, Kacper also year 8, featured later in the event and presented his speech on ‘Should it be compulsory to be vaccinated?’, again, displaying great courage and confidence addressing the judges and the room. We were also joined by year 8 student Alfie, as a stand in speaker. Although Alfie did not get the opportunity to speak on this occasion, he commented on how much he enjoyed the event and seeing his peers speeches.
The judges, Mike Shankland (English Speaking Union) and Deacon Paul Mannings were overwhelmed by the confidence, knowledge and talent of the students delivering their speeches. Paul Greenall, Partnership Director for the Archdiocese of Liverpool Secondary School Improvement Trust, said ‘all the students showed tremendous courage and determination in presenting to an audience of people they did not know in a large auditorium. All students performed magnificently and should be proud of themselves for their efforts on the day.’
The standard of the competition was very high, making the final decision a difficult choice for the judges. However, after some deliberation Evie Clark was crowned the winner with her speech on ‘Schools should do more to support young people’s mental health’, making St Mary’s College the Liverpool Archdiocese Public Speaking Competition Champions of 2022.
Second place went to Mia Owens from Archbishop Beck Catholic College with her speech on ‘The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed (Steve Biko)’. Third place went to Joe Leonard from Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School with his speech on ‘Schools should do more to support young people’s mental health’.
Judge, Mike Shankland, praised the students adding “It’s fantastic to see Liverpool Catholic schools coming together for an event such as this and the judging panel have been amused, moved and informed by today’s speeches. I urge you all to use your power of speech to change things in your world.’
Congratulations to the winning students and a huge thank you to all involved in organising the event. We are extremely proud of our students and look forward to taking part again in 2023!