What a difference a day makes! Pupils’ progress in public-speaking

A special workshop linked to a London-wide competition helped boost the confidence and public-speaking skills of Year 10 pupils at QE.

Some 25 boys took part in the day-long Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge workshop. The challenge is one of several programmes funded by Sir Jack Petchey, the 91-year-old East End entrepreneur, through The Jack Petchey Foundation. The boys took part in a number of activities, which culminated in an internal competition on the day.

QE Drama Co-ordinator Elaine White, who was involved in the event, said: “Some of the boys made really outstanding progress – their performances at the end of the day were unrecognisable when compared with where they started in the morning session.”

""And Extra-Curricular Enrichment Tutor and History teacher Matt Dunston, who organised the workshop, added: “Creativity and self-confidence are traits that we wish to foster in boys; The Speak Out Challenge represents an excellent opportunity for doing this and for boys to benefit from the expertise of the foundation.”

The foundation’s Jonathan Drew, who facilitated the workshop, reported afterwards that he had been impressed at the efforts of all the boys. The formal feedback taken indicated that the boys felt the workshop had greatly increased their confidence, he said.

""Four pupils – Yash Puli, Dylan Vekaria, Sankeith Kirubakaran and Joel Anjorin – were selected as potential entrants in the competition’s Barnet regional final in the New Year. They will now take part in a play-off to determine which one of them goes through.

After the workshop, the boys were enthusiastic about what they had learned. Joel said: “The activities were extremely enjoyable, engaging and interesting. I feel much more confident about public-speaking as a result of taking part.” Another participant, Vedant Nair, added: “I am now much more aware of things like body language, posture, hand gesture and tone when speaking to individuals and large groups. These will all help me not just in formal public-speaking, but in other areas of school life, too.”