Join | Donate | Volunteer:


Become part of a 5,000+ community which believes that speaking and listening skills are central to personal fulfilment and cultural understanding

Become a member


One-off or regular donations are vital to our work, helping us ensure that young people everywhere have the oracy skills they need to thrive

Support our work


We’re hugely grateful to those who volunteer their time in helping to organise and run ESU programmes and competitions. Find out how you could help


‘We rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to ensure we can reach those children who need our help most’

Home > News and views > Colchester branch: a primary reason for public speaking

Colchester branch: a primary reason for public speaking

Over 80 primary school students actively participated in Colchester and North Essex branch’s first Primary School Public Speaking Competition for year 4 on 23 March 2017. Generously hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, the event was the culmination of a project developed and delivered by committee member, Public Speaking Training Manager, Nicky Browne. In the process, over 700 children attended workshops in public speaking at the participating schools before the competing chairs, speakers and questioners were finally selected. Fourteen teams took part on the day, paired together for authentic cross-questioning.

The whole event was magnificently compered by a number of primary school students in turn and featured the collective reading of the winning poem from an associated poetry writing competition on the very topic of public speaking. The competition adjudicators, ESU Competitions Officer, Paul Holleley, businessman, Peter de Rousset-Hall, and local ESU Chair, Brian Cooke, each received a framed copy of the poem. Each school team comprised six members, including a captain who introduced their school, a poetry reader and another in a management role, resulting in a highly inclusive occasion.

The winning team was Elm Green ‘T’, comprising chair, Constance Ratley, speaker Skye Lake and questioner, Dylan Arial. Second was Trinity St Mary’s, featuring Mika Smith, Nancy Potter and Ryan Cook and third was Elm Green ‘M’ with Abbie Sharp, Henry Foulds and Laura Sutton. The best chair was Constance Ratley of the winning team, the best questioner, Rebecca Nunez-Beraza of The Bishops School ‘S’ and the best speaker, Leannah Banerjee-Quetel, from St Cedd’s ‘J’, who argued that good manners are important. The poetry competition winner was Georgia White from Trinity St Mary’s and special recognition was also given to Elijah Blake of Trinity Road whose work was included in the event programme. Prizes were presented by Mrs Paula Barningham, headteacher of Our Lady Immaculate School, Chelmsford, who had generously hosted a showcase for the competition last year.

The judges congratulated everyone who took part on their impressive performances.

The participating teams were: The Bishops School ‘E’, Moulsham Junior, Our Lady Immaculate, Trinity Road, Holy Family School, Great Leighs School, The Bishops School ‘S’, St Cedd’s ‘J’, Trinity St Mary’s, Elm Green ‘T’, Lawford Mead, Perryfields School, Elm Green ‘M’ and St Cedd’s ‘K’.

This story was submitted by the ESU Colchester & Essex branch. Please click here for information on this branch and its upcoming events.

Share Page