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Local students have their say

THE Rotary Club of Frome organised the annual Rotary Youth Speaks Intermediate and Senior heats at the Standerwick Conference Centre on Thursday 31st January.

Six teams of three 11 to 13 year olds and three teams of 14 to 17 year olds battled for  places in the District semi finals of this competition, designed to encourage students to develop their verbal presentation skills in the formal context of a public meeting.

The teams, who represented Oakfield Academy, Selwood Academy, Frome Community College and Bruton School for Girls comprised a speaker, a president and a proposer who combined to speak on a team subject of their choice, ranging from ‘How adults influence children’ to ‘May the best man win’.

Standards were extremely high and students showed considerable skill in research of their topic, all speakers were complimented on their high standards of performance before a large audience and a panel of judges, who, after difficult deliberation, pronounced the following winners.

In first place in the Intermediate category were Selwood Academy, who delivered a thought provoking talk on ‘Criminal Responsibility’. They were especially praised by the adjudicating panel of Michael Joyce (chairman), Carole Whittard and Philip Jefferson for their excellent teamwork.

Second place went to Frome College who spoke of ‘Jaffa ‘cake’?, suggesting a calorie tax as a means of reducing obesity; a most unusual and well thought out approach to slimming!

These two teams will now go forward to the Rotary District Intermediate semi final at Standerwick on Thursday 28th February.

In third place were  Selwood Academy with a talk on ‘Disabilities’, particularly relevant following the summer Olympics.

In the senior category the first place went to Frome College with their talk ‘It’s not fair’; such a common and simple expression can invoke so many feelings and opinions, well presented by the college team.

This team will progress to the Rotary District Senior semi final to be held at Sheldon School, Chippenham on Thursday 21st February.

The chairman of judges, Michael Joyce, complimented all those students taking part for their time and effort in researching and presenting, in front of a large audience, such stimulating and thought provoking talks, and thanked teachers and mentors for their help and support.

Humphrey Barnes, Frome Rotary Club president, presented the prizes and expressed the opinions of all those present – how lucky we are in Frome to have such considerable talent amongst our young people and wished them all success in their future endeavours.

This annual event was again generously sponsored by Galleon Seafoods and an anonymous donor. The following students took part:

Oakfield Academy, Intermediate category: Stella Oldham, Sophie Smith, Tara Foreman – ‘Why do some children have a negative attitude to school?’

Lily Breese, May Schymczyk, Flora Williams – ‘How adults influence children’.

Selwood Academy, Intermediate category: Chelsea Colebrook, Annie Warde, Gianni Lochi – ‘Criminal Responsibility’. Awarded first place.

Tabitha Tarbrooke, Mia Douglas, Georgina Rodgers. ‘Disabilities’ – Awarded third place.

Bruton School for Girls, Intermediate category: Emily Forrester, Beth Lewis, Harriet Bennett – ‘What are YOU scared of?’

Senior category: Georgina Lewis, Harriet Sheves, Olivia Bishop – “It’s no laughing matter’ and Molly Stringer, Tierney Chappell, Emma Fox – ‘May the best man win’.

Frome College, Intermediate category: James Muxworthy, Barnaby Turner, Ben Davies – ‘Jaffa ‘cake’? Awarded second place. Senior category: Asher Flannagan, Gemma Davis, Ethan White – ‘It’s not fair’. Awarded first place.

Pictured: (top to bottom) 3rd Place Selwood Academy 2 Intermediate Group, chair Tabitha Tarbrooke, speaker Mia Douglas, proposer Georgina Rodgers

1st Intermediate Group Winners Selwood Academy 1, chair Chelsea Colebrook, speaker Annie Warde, proposer Gianna Lochi

1st Place Seniors Group Frome College, chair Asher Flannagan, speaker Gemma Davis, proposer Ethan White

2nd Place intermediate Group Winners Frome College, chair James Muxworthy, speaker Barnaby Turner, proposer Ben Davies