Falinge Park HS team A, Iman Kazmi, Farah Khan and Shannon Hitchings, were intermediate heat winners with their topic GOLDEN NUGGETS

Falinge Park HS team A, Iman Kazmi, Farah Khan and Shannon Hitchings, were intermediate heat winners with their topic GOLDEN NUGGETS

Rochdale Rotary Club in collaboration with Falinge Park HS organised a very successful public speaking competition for secondary school students from Falinge Park HS, Oldham Hulme Grammar, Beechwood House HS and Bury Grammar.

A nationwide competition, Rotary Youth Speaks, helps young people do public speaking and practice this art so they can continue it in later life. It promotes self-confidence and use of spoken English and tests young people’s ability to control their nerves and talk clearly in front of an audience (around 100 this time). Imagination and team work is needed to think of and research an interesting subject and deliver a knowledgeable speech about the topic. Some tongue in cheek or humorous views are often thrown into the mix.

Rochdale Rotary Club has sponsored the Falinge Park teams over many years but this is only the second time the school has hosted the event. Rotarian Ravi Sharma and Falinge teacher Richard Rhodes planned the evening and were helped by pupils, staff and friends from the school and members of the Rotary club and Rochdale Inner wheel. A welcome from deputy head Susan Wood and Rotary president Ann Stott was followed by Rotary District 1285 Governor elect Anthony Graves asking the students to relax and enjoy it!

6 teams of three took part, each with a chairperson to introduce the speaker and a vote of thanks was given by the 3rd team member. A team of judges from Rostrum(a club which has public speaking as it’s theme) gave a final decision on winners for age groups 11-13 (intermediate) and 14-17 (seniors). Marks were lost if team members overran a lot or took too little time. Timekeepers showed a green light going to red if team members overran their time ;1 mark lost for every 15 seconds in the red. Each speaker was asked a probing question by a questioner after their speech and extra marks gained for a good answer.

Falinge Park HS team A, Iman Kazmi, Farah Khan and Shannon Hitchings, were intermediate heat winners with their topic GOLDEN NUGGETS Farah Khan talked of the injustices in our society and the plight of many forgotten and neglected frail elderly people. She suggested visiting them regularly keep them company and ask them for guidance. Do not treat them as an inconvenience - they are people too!

Bury Grammar school team B Sophie Parker, Hashim Tahir, Amaan Sadiq were senior heat winners with ONLY A GAME

After negative media publicity Hashim worried he may have an addiction to videogames as he sometimes prioritises it over other work after a busy school week. Also could the violent nature of some games have a bad effect on him and lead to violent behaviour? He presented it as a leisure activity not like smoking, drug taking, drinking or gambling which cause harm to physical, mental and financial health.

Bury team A was Maryam Khan, Emily Wilson and Isobel Lewis. Emily talked of SEXUAL HARASSMENT describing the shocking attitudes and inappropriate behaviour towards women by certain men in position of power particularly in the entertainment industry. Harassment should be better defined and bosses should always be respectful to their employees. Time limits for appeals to employment tribunals should be more than 3 months More legislation is needed to protect women.

UNPOPULAR OPINIONS ON THE ARTS by Oldham Hulme Grammar team Jessica Sheridan, Isabella Brierley-Bernasconi , Evvie Wagster-Konstantinidou . Isabella described the obsession by people with what others have said is beautiful in art eg the Mona Lisa (speaker liken it to a Mona Weasel!). Beautiful art works are waiting for people to discover them ;it’s better to explore your own path! Don’t rely on art critics to guide you; find your own favourites and don’t be put off even if less celebrated or even hated by others.
ALCATRAZ Falinge team B Emilia Gartside, Sadia Begum and Evan Binil compared the school system to Alcatraz Prison. Sadia asked that young people should help to govern schools and have more say in the subjects they wish to do and which school trips they want to go on. Their self-esteem would increase and they would be able to be the architect of their own future. Many young people have the confidence, responsibility and ability to do this but (like adults) should not be expected to get it right every time.

SHOULD WE KEEP ANIMALS IN ZOOS Beech House school Sophie Wilkinson, Holly Gaucas and Issabella Chapman. Holly emphasised the need for more natural environments and space. How would we as humans feel if we were being watched every day and locked up in a human zoo? If animals are endangered, proper sanctuaries with natural environments may be the answer and some, such as elephants, which need to walk freely could be released into them.

All teams performed brilliantly and had certificates for taking part, best teams as above ,Best Chairperson Iman Kazmi and Sophie Parker(int), Speakers Farah Khan & Emily Wilson, Proposers of Vote of Thanks Isobel Lewis and Isabella Chapman. Deputy Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Mohammed Zaman spoke of his great enjoyment in seeing such talent on display.
District finals for Falinge Park A and Bury Grammar School B are to be held at Forest Hills Hotel, Overton Hill, Frodsham, WA6 6HH 4th March 12.30 pm. There are Regional and even National Finals later so good luck to both teams and well done!


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