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Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge

St Thomas More School plays host to Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge

On Tuesday, 23 January 2018, St Thomas More Schoolhosted the Haringey Regional Finals of Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge 2017-18.  The challenge, which is run by Speakers Trust and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation is a public speaking competition open to Year 10 pupils in every state school in London and Essex and focuses on developing pupils’ skills and confidence to speak in public, as well as their desire to do so.

As the hosting school, we were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Haringey, Councillor Stephen Mann, who led the presentation ceremony, as well as competing pupils from eleven neighbouring Haringey schools.  Also present on the night were the fifteen competition judges: Simon Amos, Borough Commander, London Fire Brigade; Jim Shepley, Executive Director of Haringey Shed; Ben Woollen, Communication Skills Coach of Laughton Scott; Stuart Jackson, Commanding Officer, Haringey Sea Cadets; Cllr Elin Weston, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, London Borough of Haringey; Jan Winnick, Toastmaster and Head of Psychology at St Anne’s School; Jean-Pierre Moore, Youth Engagement Coordinator, Haringey Council; and Damian Zabielski, Co-Chair of Haringey Youth Council. 

The evening was opened by Executive Headteacher, Mr Martin Tissot, and MC for the night was the current Regional Champion 2017 and St Thomas More Student, Lin Ly.  As host, the school also had the pleasure of providing some of the fanstatic entertainment for the night, including a guitar solo from Year 9 pupil Jayden Malinzi, and closing act provided by four amazing vocalists from our Year 7 group: Blessing Moke Musese, Rachel Manful, Nana-yaa Akoto, and Kimberly Mombley. 

As competitions go, the “Speak Out” Challenge becomes more and more competitive each year, proving the determination, hard work and commitment that finalists put in.

St Thomas More pupil, Souharda Chanda achieved many personal goals delivering his speech ‘Unsocial Media’, whilst Ayarna Witter-Morgan delivered her very personal speech ‘Shapeless’ which led her to win 2nd place on the night, making her runner up of the 2017-18 Haringey Regional Final.

Ayarna Witter-Morgan was delighted to have won an award on the evening, “"By doing this challenge, I have learned to be more confident in myself and now I know that you should take every opportunity you're given!"

Ms Natasha Agostini, English Teacher and organiser of the event,  said about the competition, “Having had the opportunity to work alongside Speakers Trust with the “Speak Out" Challenge for the last three years, I am extremely proud of the flair and growth in confidence generated by our Year 10 pupils year after year.” 

Congratulations to all the finalists and the overall regional winner, Gemima Iseka-Bekano from Gladesmore Community School, who will go on to represent Haringey and the semi-finals in May.

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