Upon arrival our students went to the orangery for a brief introduction, then Middle Prep went to the Churchill Spencer Room and Senior Prep went to the Marlborough Room for the start of the Public Speaking Competition.
The competition was fierce. Both groups were up against some ‘seasoned’ speakers at Blenheim, who clearly knew what was expected of them and delivered some excellent speeches, which were delivered with confidence and skill.
Findlay Hovell, Iraa Kulkarni and Chloe Cave were all amazing! After a nervous start, they embraced the challenge and delivered a thought-provoking speech to their audience of boys, girls, teachers and other honoured guests including; Lady Henrietta Churchill and Her Grace The 12th Duchess of Marlborough. Findlay, Iraa and Chloe worked well together, each referring to the next speaker by name. Findlay was a super chairperson who introduced the topic exceptionally well. Iraa and Chloe maintained a magnificent posture and held the room in silence as they delivered their speeches with energy and passion.
Our Middle Prep team had some very pleasing feedback from Her Grace and other VIP guests in the audience. During the interval, Mrs Prigmore-Wells, much to her surprise and delight, returned to find Findlay, Iraa and Chloe in close conversation with Her Grace the 12th Duchess of Marlborough. Her Grace was very interested in the children’s experiences on the podium and was both gracious and kind in her manner with our pupils. Three other members of the adult guests came to our groups to congratulate them on their presentation.
Jumeirah Francis, Oluwadamilola Omotosho and Caitlin Hendry were our ambassadors for the Seniors competition. There were nine teams competing in this age category and the standard was exceptional. After listening to some engaging and rousing oratory from several other schools, our Grove children took to the podium. Dami chaired the speech confidently, adding some effective pauses and emphasis for dramatic effect. Caitlin and Jumeirah, similarly, spoke very clearly and with controlled passion.
The team had to navigate some tough questions from the panel of guests and it was heart-warming to see Caitlin come to the aid of Jumeirah, when she was answering a particularly difficult question. It was a valiant effort and the children conveyed their knowledge and understanding of the topic, ‘in a very cool way’ – according to one previous judge, who spoke to us after the event. We all felt that this was a wonderful experience and it was exciting to see so many young people, able to speak with such authority to a room of perfect strangers.
Following the competition there was a formal photograph taken of each school’s team with members of the Churchill family.
A super experience and a wonderful opportunity to present our amazing children’s speaking skills.
Mrs Prigmore-Wells & Mrs Kenton