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King's Lynn schools' public speaking competition returns



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After a break of three years, two of them due to the pandemic, Lynn Soroptomists' schools' public speaking competition is back.

Taking part were year six pupils from Gaywood Primary School, Heacham Junior School, North Wootton Academy, Snettisham Primary School and South Wootton Junior School.

The competition was hosted at the drama studio at Springwood High School.

Soroptomists president Marion Coleman (left) with borough mayor Lesley Bambridge, and the Gaywood Primary winners.
Soroptomists president Marion Coleman (left) with borough mayor Lesley Bambridge, and the Gaywood Primary winners.

Each team was made up of a proposer, main speaker and concluder and the topic questions set related to the vision and values of Soroptimism. This year they included fast fashion, lessons learnt from the lockdown experience, value of hand held phones/tablets and the threat of climate change.

The three judges for the evening were Jill Bennett from Radio Norfolk, Dr Duncan Ramsey, the CEO of the Aspire Learning Trust and Olly Mackett, Head of English for the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

The standard of each team was exceptionally high, nearly all were word perfect, were engaging both with their audience and with each other and had obviously been practising really hard.

Soroptomists, guests and judges with winners Gaywood Primary (front), North Wootton Academy (centre left) and Heacham Primary (left back).
Soroptomists, guests and judges with winners Gaywood Primary (front), North Wootton Academy (centre left) and Heacham Primary (left back).

The Head of English judge felt that they were all functioning at GCSE English level, which thrilled the children, impressed their parents and pleased their teachers .

The event was compered by Theresa Banks of SIKL and supported by president Marion Coleman, programme action officer Andrea Pearson, treasurer Mary Plant and member Rosie Webber.

Also in attendance were Soroptimist International London area president, Sharon Richardson and guest of honour for the evening, West Norfolk borough mayor Cllr. Lesley Bambridge.

The winners were the team from Gaywood Primary School, who gave an informative presentation on whether climate change is the greatest threat facing us today. They had surveyed pupils at their school and the general opinion was that climate change was indeed the greatest threat and that action was required now.

The winners were presented with the Benita Haynes Shield ( a former SIKL member) and winner's medals by the mayor. Second place went to North Wootton Academy and third place to Heacham Junior School, who all received runner’s up medals.

President Marion Coleman also gave each of the three winning schools a cheque by way of a donation to be spent as they deemed fit, in recognition of their performances - and all entries received a certificate.

There was lots of positive feedback from the children, parents and teachers, especially as this was the first event that many of the schools had participated in following the relaxation of lockdown regulations.

All of the schools were keen to enter teams again for next year and the Soroptomists hope a few more schools may wish to participate when they hear about how successful and beneficial the competition was this time.



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