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York Civic Trust

Education: Schools Public Speaking Competitions


Bootham School speakers - who went on to win - in November 2016

July 2016. Beau Gascoigne and Ellen York of St Wilfrid's School with Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley and senior judge - and previous Trust President - Darrell Buttery in the background

Lorien and Maya Birch, of Fulford School, give their winning speech in December 2015

The three winning teams of the 2015 Primary competition with Lord Mayor Sonja Crisp

Dougie Buchanan, 2014 winner, with Lord Mayor Ian Gillies

Ethan McKinney and Sophie Bone of St Olave's with Lord Mayor Ian Gillies
The Trust's Education Committee believes schoolchildren can enjoy and learn from public speaking - especially on a York theme. We have therefore organised public speaking competitions for both primary and secondary school pupils in York, starting in 2012 to celebrate 800 years since York received its City Charter from King John. Family and Trust members can attend.
Milo Gildergate McMullen and Francesca Mitten of Bootham School were the worthy winners of the secondary school competition on 16 November 2016 in the Council Chamber of York Guildhall. They chose the theme "two hours in York is a waste of time". Here is the York Press report. Below is a 9 minute film of highlights from that competition. (YouTube reference kX1uci00c9U)

Beau Gascoigne and Ellen York were the winning speakers at the competition for primary school pupils on Wednesday 6 July 2016, at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall, among strong competition of 14 schools. They are from St Wilfrid's school, and spoke about whether a Roman soldier or Viking warrior would win in a duel. Lady Mayoress Susan Ridley, and Sheriff Jonathan Tyler awarded their prize.
Here is a film of highlights of the young people speaking (YouTube reference kBooVCBMYYU).



The latest competition for secondary school pupils was at York Guildhall on 9 December 2015. From a strong field, the winners were Lorien and Maya Birch of Fulford School. You can see the York Press report here. One of the popular topics was the Civic Trust's Blue Plaques - what should or should not be included.
A team of two children speaks for 5 to 8 minutes on one of the topics of local and historic interest given as choices to the schools. Their audience has included parents and other family, teachers and Civic Trust members. Prizes include £25 vouchers for each of the young winners and tickets to Fairfax House for them and their families. The winning school receives a trophy for the year, and a DVD which shows the whole competition.
Here is a clip from the event at the Guildhall in December 2015.

The competitions for those still at primary school have taken place in the Hall of the Merchant Adventurers' Company, in Fossgate in July 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In July 2015 the winners received their prize from Cllr Sonja Crisp, Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, with their families among the audience. The winning school was was St Wilfrid's, with speakers Isabel Jatto and Maeve Reeve-Smith. Second was Huntington Primary, with speakers Alex Bonfield and Will Stone. Third was Westfield Primary, with speakers Toby Watson and Leah Stewart.
Here is a film showing highlights of those three teams' talks.

The competitions for those early in their secondary school years have taken place in the prestigious setting of the Council Chamber of the City of York, in the historic Guildhall, in November 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
In November 2014, secondary schools Bootham, Fulford, Huntington, Joseph Rowntree, Manor CE Academy, St Olave's and The Mount all fielded a team in the presence of the Lord Mayor of York. Dougie Buchanan of Huntington School was the winner, even though his speaking partner was unable to come at the last minute. Ethan McKinney and Sophie Bone of St Olave's were second and Daisy Smart and Pietra Sorze of The Mount School third.
Here is a three minute film showing highlights of these November 2014 winning teams.


Information about earlier public speaking competitions is on this page of the website.

The winners of the July 2014 primary school competition, Lorien Birch and Josephine Lewis of Naburn School repeated their talk in front of Trust members at their AGM in October 2014.