PASSMORES Academy was given the honour of hosting the West Essex final of the Jack Petchey ‘Speak Out!’ Challenge last Wednesday evening, when fourteen Year 10 students from a range of schools across the area took part in this prestigious event.
At the start of the evening, Mr Goddard, an experienced and respected orator himself, offered the young speakers some advice, saying, ‘we don’t know what you’re going to say, so if it goes wrong, just keep smiling and keep talking!’
The judging panel was made up of nine local people, and included a town councillor, doctor, the manager of Harlow Playhouse, and Harlow Youth Councillor Bethany. Finalists were judged on the delivery, structure, and content of their speeches, and had just three minutes each to engage and entertain the audience. With the bar set high from the start, all the speakers demonstrated remarkable skill as they spoke convincingly and passionately on a range of topics which covered social media, discrimination, stereotypes, ambition, freedom, and escapism.
Representing Passmores, Rosa Goodwin Drewett, who is a regular in our school productions, demonstrated her first-class performance skills as she delivered her speech entitled ‘Painting by Music’, with equal amounts of enthusiasm and eloquence.
Musical entertainment was provided by solo singer Abbie Tyler, Year 11 and the cast of this year’s summer production, ‘Sweet Charity’. Governor, Sue Walker described the singing as ‘outstanding’, and Paul Beashel, judge and Chair of Governors said, ‘It was tremendous. Everybody involved – the organisers, parents, teachers, and in particular the students, should be very proud of the quality of the evening.’
Ably supported by a team of staff and students, Mrs King organised the event and added, ‘The amount of positive comments from supporters from Passmores and other schools was wonderful. The Jack Petchey staff were blown away by our entertainment and several people came up to me to comment on how fantastic the food was. The school looked great and the students were brilliant hosts. It has been a really great experience – several Year 9s are really excited about having the opportunity to take part next year’.
Congratulations to the overall winner, Sophie-Morgan Hayward of Becket Keys C of E School and to all the participants of this outstanding event. Thanks also to the Jack Petchey Foundation and Jonathan Drew for his seamless coordination of the evening’s events.
If you would like to know more about the Jack Petchey Foundation and ‘Speak Out!’ Challenge, or see some pictures of the event, please click on the following link:
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