St Mary’s Independent School’s two public speaking teams enjoyed a hotly-contested and highly informative evening as a local heat of the English Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition was held in our school’s Jean De Lamennais Room. Our teams both performed very well. In Team 1, chairperson Lamar Mukundi and questioner introduced and interrogated a speaker from Ryde School on ‘Is the earth still a blue planet’, both using their experience gained from last year’s competition to perform with great aplomb. Speaker Gerry Yau gave a wide-ranging and informative speech on ‘Should Celebrities Receive Harsher Punishments’, which gave the judges an education on the crimes of Snoop Dogg and R Kelly.
Our Team 2 went one step further and finished runners-up for the evening, meaning that they have qualified for the District Final in Salisbury on February 26th. Chairperson Kathryn Briggs and questioner Phoebe Barnes both received ‘best in role’ awards for their respective positions in hosting a guest speaker from The Ryde School, speaking on ‘Religion has no place in schools’ (Fr Michael and Mrs Thom will be pleased to know that the speaker argued persuasively against this title!). Team 2’s speaker Inas Kassim also impressed greatly with her speech on ‘Written examinationss are the least effective form of assessment’.

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