Last Friday, 27 brave Year 7 & 8 pupils competed in the first ‘Vinehall Speaks’ Public Speaking competition to be held at Vinehall for many years.

Following a two-hour workshop with Matthew Van Grutten, a public speaking specialist, the pupils were tasked with working in teams of three to produce a five-minute presentation on a subject of their own choice.

The topics were many and varied; ranging from USA gun laws, school exams, the benefits and disadvantages of living in a big family and the effects of plastic pollution on our planet to mention just a few. Each team brought its own style and personality to the presentation and each was remarkable in its own way. There was commitment, passion, enthusiasm and expertise a-plenty!

Mr Van Grutten was hugely impressed by all the entries, giving each group insightful feedback and well-deserved praise. He also had the unenviable task of selecting an overall winner, finally choosing a hard-hitting and passionate piece about school examinations by Lucy M, Lily C and Mimi G. The girls received the Buchanan Cup for Public Speaking, together with an appreciative round of applause from the highly supportive audience. Many congratulations to the winning team and to all other participants who collectively made the evening such a success.