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    Students attend public speaking workshop

    Thirty Year 10 students at West Hatch High School have taken part in a comprehensive training session on public speaking and the art of engaging an audience.

    The session was arranged by the school's Head of Drama, Nick Bell, in conjunction with the Jack Petchey Foundation which holds the annual Speak Out Challenge public speaking competition.

    Over five hours, the students took part in games, discussion and demonstrations to illustrate the key elements of public speech. 

    The students were inspired and helped to create their own two-minute speech.

    The session covered speech content, delivery, eye contact and many more key tips for the most successful and exciting speeches. 

    The students were fully engaged and worked hard to create some innovative, thought provoking and exciting speeches. 

    Basma Murshid said: "The workshop was very informative and prepared us for our future jobs, it gave us an insight into our possible careers."

    Katie Scollan said the workshop had given her "lots more confidence" and had made her feel more comfortable speaking in front of large groups.

    Marcus Cardoso said: "The workshop has given me the skills for future life and also my career. I'd like to own a business and this will be brilliant for that."

    At the end of the session the students presented their speeches to the group and were judged by Mr Bell and and the school's Careers Advisor Geoff Towsey.

    Mr Bell said: "Being part of the workshop has allowed me to see the journey the students have been on. If I had asked the group to individually present a speech before the workshop many would have struggled to think of what to say or how to deliver it. 

    "I am proud of the students for the confidence, creativity and charisma shown."

    Five students -  Melisa Ozelci, Katie Scollan, Lily Wall, Basma Murshid and Delthisha Weeks - have secured a place in the school final of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge where they will present their polished speech to Head Teacher Frances Howarth and an invited audience of their peers within the next few weeks. 

    The winning finalist will go through to the regional final at Passmores Academy, Harlow, on May 10.

    Harvey Martin-Rodriguez and Harry Brandon received a special recognition award for their rapid and impressive improvement across the day. 

    Both students worked very hard to overcome their fears and create some impressive speeches.