On Monday 30th January, Newcastle High played host to the Semi-final of the GDST Chrystall Prize, a Public Speaking competition set up in honour of the late GDST Deputy Secretary Chrystall Carter.

Speakers travelled from Belvedere Academy, Birkenhead High School Academy, Nottingham Girls’ High School and Sheffield Girls’ to make up the GDST Northern Schools Semi-final. We were also delighted to welcome to the judging panel Tony Childs, theatre actor and director and Chief Examiner for GCSE English Literature; Yousaf Khalid, School Governor and Managing Director of agency everythingdifferent and Elspeth Thomson, NHSG alumna and Managing Partner at David Gray Solicitors.

The standard of Public Speaking at the event is always very high, and Year 11 Fatima Pamsm-Conteh was selected to represent NHSG after an internal competition against 17 other girls. It’s fantastic to see such participation and enthusiasm for Public Speaking throughout the School.

The speakers’ allocated topics were wide-ranging and challenging. Each candidate had seven minutes to speak, followed by three minutes of questions from the audience.
Fatima took to the floor amid cheers from the Year 11 audience to deliver a confident and convincing argument that “Celebrity is no more about talent”. She also fielded questions from fellow speakers and guests from our Debating partner school, St Cuthbert’s.

Fatima’s performance earned her a commendation from the judges, but first place went to Anya from Sheffield Girls’ for a highly polished delivery of “We live in hope”.

Thank you to the parents who came along to support the event. We look forward to Public Speaking’s profile continuing to grow across the School and Mrs McEvedy will shortly be announcing details of a new Public Speaking Course for Years 9 and 10, so that girls lower down the School have the opportunity to grow their skills to reach the very high standards set by this event.

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