Burnt Mill student to host event in front of 1,000 strong audience

A CONFIDENT young speaker has been asked to MC at an event in front of an audience of 1,000 people.

Josh Tedeku, Year 11 student at Burnt Mill Academy in Harlow, won last year’s regional final of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge.

He then was one of 15 out of 20,000 students to make it through to the grand final.

As a result, he was invited back to MC at this year’s regional final – his first paid speaking job.

English teacher Dolleen Howlett said: “He was fantastic. He kept the evening running at a good pace, was warm and reassuring to the competitors and was professional throughout.

“In fact, he was so good that he has been invited to co-MC the grand final this year – a role usually offered to the winner.”

Josh will host the event at the Cambridge Theatre, in London, to a crowd of about 1,000 people on July 1.

The Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge is an opportunity for students across Essex and London to develop their public speaking skills.

More than 50 Year 10 students from Burnt Mill took part in an all-day workshop to learn the importance of communication and to prepare for this year’s competition.

They created their own one-minute talk on a subject of importance to them.

Finalist Ruby Osborne’s talk Reflections on My Reflection gave an insight into how social media affects young people’s sense of self.

Mrs Howlett said “The Speak Out Challenge is becoming a vital part of English enrichment at Burnt Mill Academy and is steadily growing in popularity. Year 10 students, as part of their English GCSE, must complete a spoken language assessment.

“Participating in this workshop has led to some real successes in the past two years. We hope Year 9 will take advantage of this opportunity next year – perhaps we have another grand finalist in our school.”

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