Hartlepool school pupils win public speaking competition after debating the devastating effects of plastic pollution

Hartlepool primary school pupils have been praised for displaying high standards in public speaking skills after winning a closely contested competition.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 10:02 am
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 10:18 am
Youngsters from the five schools who took part in the Public Speaking Competition are pictured with the judges.
Youngsters from the five schools who took part in the Public Speaking Competition are pictured with the judges.

Five primary schools – all part of the Ad Astra Academy Trust – recently competed in the trust’s inaugural Public Speaking Competition held at West View Primary School in Hartlepool.

The three-strong teams of Year 5 (nine and ten-years-old) pupils were given six minutes to make a presentation on their chosen subject before an audience of parents, teachers and fellow pupils.

The West Park Team Picture, from the left, Andy Steel, Huma Mushtaq, Madeline Bates, Xanthe Peart and Andy Brown.

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Topics were wide-ranging including the benefits of sport, video game addiction, the importance of school forests and zoos and safe sanctuaries or cruel prisons?

Hartlepool’s West Park Primary School came out on top in a closely contested competition after debating the devastating effects of plastic pollution, particularly in our oceans.

The other schools who took part were Hartlepool’s West View and Brougham primary schools along with Crooksbarn and Rosebrook primary schools from Stockton.

Heather Jackson, head of school improvement for Ad Astra Academy Trust, said: “The trust places an emphasis on oral and communication skills which helps to build confidence and self-esteem. The competition is just one of many initiatives across the curriculum to enable our children to develop their presentation skills and promote teamwork.”

The competition was judged by four Ad Astra Academy Trust board members – Adrian Morris, Chris Simmons, Ali Wilson and Alby Pattison.

Andy Steel, chair of Ad Astra Academy Trust, said: “All of the presentations were fantastic and the judges faced a very difficult decision in choosing a winner.

“It’s a big ask for young children to stand in front of an audience and they should all be commended for delivering such well-balanced, informative and interesting presentations.”

Mr Steel presented a shield to the West Park winning team which comprised Xanthe Peart (chair), Huma Mushtaq (main speaker) and Madeline Bates (proposer of vote of thanks). All pupils taking part also received a medal.

Andy Brown, chief executive of Ad Astra Academy Trust, added: “All of our pupils demonstrated exceptional talent and all of the presentations were a joy to watch."