The Senior Speech Competition
On Tuesday morning, we had the hotly anticipated return of the Senior speech competition final.
Due to the high calibre of speeches during class heats, senior English teachers were unable to get the number lower than 14, which is the most I can ever remember having in the final! We were very lucky that James Methven, the Head of English at Winchester College, agreed to come and judge what turned out to be a very high calibre competition - I would have struggled to decide!
It would be fair to say that for some boys, the process of standing up and delivering a speech doesn't pose too many problems. Equally, there were boys in this final for whom this was their first experience of performing in front of such a large audience, and the fact that they all - without exception, spoke so brilliantly and eloquently was hugely impressive. It can be an exposing feeling standing up in front of lots of people and trying to speak from memory, but an important and valuable life skill and one I was thrilled to see them take on and engage with in such a mature fashion.
The competition itself was (metaphorically) fierce with a huge range of topics covered, which demonstrates the sheer breadth of interest of the typical Pilgrims' boy. James Methven gave all of the boys some lovely feedback, but managed to whittle it down to Finn in Year 6 being highly commended with his speech about 'The journey to discover Emperor Penguin eggs', Harry K being highly commended in Year 7 with his speech about 'Why comics should be recognised as books', and overall winner - Arthur H from Year 7, whose speech 'Nuclear power? Yes, please!' was astonishingly well-organised, sophisticated and accessible, making him a deserved recipient of this year's accolade.
Thank you to the English department in preparing the boys so brilliantly and thank you to all the parents for your support and encouragement along the way.
Head of English