2000 Youngsters from schools across the town took part in the recent Oldham Primary School Choral Speaking Festival held at the Coliseum Theatre from 21-23 March 2018. Developed by the Rotary Club of Oldham Metro, the Festival aims to help children to increase their enjoyment of poetry; develop their self-confidence and capacity to speak in public and to build community cohesion by bringing together schools and performers from across the borough.

The children, with ages ranging from 4 to 11 years, performed a wide range of poems – some familiar, some new, some serious, many humorous, some linked to curriculum topics being covered in school; some from the 19th century’s Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, some by modern poets like Buxton-based Andy Tooze.

Judged by an international Adjudicator, Ann Warr, there were trophies for the best in each Age group, which were presented at a special morning event at the Coliseum on 1st. May presented among others by Rotary District 1285 Youth Officer John Shepley.

Master of Ceremonies Mel Farrar said ” The Festival has again been a resounding success and this morning the audience have enjoyed a range of brilliant and often moving performances .”
Now in its 34th year the Festival was the brainchild of former Club member and Deputy Head Teacher John Cleary and since 1985 around 60,000 children have taken part.

Opening both the Festival and the Presentation Morning, the Worshipful the Mayor of Oldham Cllr Shadab Qumer noted that he had taken part in the festival as a youngster and suggested to the young participants that they too could grow up to be Mayor of Oldham.

Club President Con Kelly says: “The Festival is an event where everyone who comes is a winner. For many this will be their first time on a professional stage; for some it will not be their last, and I am sure that the efforts the youngsters have made in learning the poetry they present will be repaid many times over in the years to come.”

International Adjudicator Ann Warr said, “ This is the biggest such Festival outside Hong Kong and it has again been a wonderful three days. Standards rise year on year – the children were great, the teachers are to be commended and Oldham can be proud of staging such a fantastic festival.”

For further background contact the MC - Mel Farrar of Oldham Metro Rotary Club

Click here for the Souvenir Programme

Trophy Winners and Adjudicator’s Special Commendations

Infant Trophy
Freehold Community Academy Y2 Cerise

Lower Junior Trophy
Freehold Community Academy Y3 Lime

Upper Junior Trophy

Higher Failsworth Primary School Year 5 Miss Zamir

Madeleine Lindley Trophy
Delph Primary School

Audrey Carter Trophy
St. Matthews C of E Junior School Year 3 LT

John Cleary Trophy
Springhead Infant and Nursery School Y2

Adjudicator’s Special Commendations
Higher Failsworth Primary School Y1
Christ Church Chadderton C of E Primary School KS1
St. Hugh’s C of E Primary School Y1
Christ Church Chadderton C of E Primary School KS2
Richmond Academy Y4


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