On Thursday March 11th students from The Taunton Academy with their teacher, Kat Lam, competed against a number of schools throughout the south west. They gathered by Zoom to compete in the South West Regional Final of the Churchill – ESU National Speaking Competition for Schools.
But before they reached this Regional Final the students had to compete in the Round 1 Heat of schools in the south west last month on February 4th. Here, competition was stiff from the schools in Devon and Somerset. Nevertheless, it was The Taunton Academy which won through, securing a place in the Regional Final.
Subsequently, the schools assembled and each team debated the subjects chosen by them. The chair introduced the speaker who spoke for five minutes and was subsequently questioned by the questioner. The standard of debating was high and competition was fierce amongst the students. The judges deliberated whilst the students and audience poised anxiously awaiting the results.
The overall winner of the Regional Final was announced – it was us! Kat Lam was thrilled, as well as the team comprising Alexia as Speaker, Ella as Chair and Christopher as Questioner.
Headteacher, John Eddy said of their success: “We are so very proud of the dedication shown by these students. Their commitment has been rewarded by a well deserved accomplishment.”
Now, the team go forward to the National Final competing against the whole of the country. This would normally take place at Churchill College Cambridge, but will, this year, be by Zoom.
Commenting on their performance, Charles Scott, Chairman of the Taunton Branch of the English Speaking Union, said that he was thrilled that The Taunton Academy has won through despite strong performances from the south west.