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Home > Ouse Valley Junior Public Speaking Competition

‘I learnt that the more you speak, the more confident you become’


Key facts

  • What: Public speaking competition for Bedfordshire primary schools
  • Age: Years 4-5
  • Price: Free (sponsored by the Ouse valley branch)
  • When: Late April/early May

In brief

Each year the Ouse Valley branch works with a number of primary schools in Bedfordshire to organise local public speaking competitions designed to build self-confidence, self- esteem and critical thinking skills, as well as the practical skills of delivering a speech in front of an audience, listening without interrupting, asking pertinent and relevant questions and the ability to work effectively as a team.

Prior to the competition interactive oracy workshops are delivered in each participating school with the relevant staff and children, alongside some friendly pre-competitions. Twilight CPD sessions are also delivered for teachers/TAs new to these competitions.

Teams of three pupils represent their school having been given a topical motion to research. The chairperson introduces the team and ensures the smooth running of their presentation, summing up and thanking the teams, judges and audience. The speaker persuasively presents four or five main points on the motion and answers questions from the other team and members of the audience. The questioner listens attentively to the speech, altering any prepared questions where applicable and improvising new ones.

‘A wonderful afternoon – the children enjoyed it very much and the ideas they came up with were really interesting’


Brickhill Primary School

Why do it

  • Enables children to articulate their ideas and opinions and to share them with others in a non-judgmental environment
  • Encourages confident communication and critical thinking
  • Supports teachers in developing strategies and using activities to further the development of children’s speaking and listening skills, and to help them embed oracy in all areas of the curriculum
  • Narrows the gap between children and improves their ability to vocalise their ideas in a structured way, using appropriate vocabulary
  • Promotes the importance of effective presentational skills including: body language, tone of voice and engagement of the audience and judges
  • Emphasises the importance of team work and representing others (their school)
  • Builds links and camaraderie with other schools in the area

The number of students taking part in the Ouse Valley Junior Public Speaking Competition workshops 2018/19


Find out more


If you have any questions about the Ouse Valley Junior Public Speaking Competition please email

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