As we all know, public speaking takes guts and determination; Brooksbank students showed theirs recently at the in-house round of the Youth Speaks competition.

The competition, run by Rotary GBI, saw four teams of youngsters compete for a crack at the regional final.  Present were Deputy Head, Mrs Puddephatt and Head of Year 11, Mr Verdeyen, and team coaches Mr Shaw, Miss Roberts and Mrs Chadwick.  Participants’ families were also among the audience. Everyone was really impressed with the skills and confidence shown by students as they put their views forward with confidence.

Team A discussed the positives and negatives surrounding keeping exotic animals as pets when they debated the question: Should we keep exotic pets?  Led by Chairperson Verity Sykes, Sam Hawker acted as Proposer while Niamh Fitzgibbon took the opposite view.  Team A were commended on their enthusiastic approach and declared ‘ones to watch’, with a promising future ahead of them.

Team B asked Am I beautiful?  Theirs was thought-provoking speech about the pros and cons of photo manipulation, or photoshopping.  The team comprised: Aurelia Osborn, Chairperson; Belle Hemmingway, Proposer; Daisy Haggis, Opposer.

Team C debated The Political Voting System.  This discussion was excellent – very well researched and a mature (beyond their years) assessment of the political voting system and whether or not it works in its current format.  The team comprised: Adam Quick, Chairperson; Joe Robinson, Proposer; Lauren Grundy, Opposer.

Team D asked the question: Teenagers: are they getting worse?  This team effort was well-balanced, slickly-presented with judges’ questions expertly answered.

After all the presentations had been heard, the judges chose Team C and Team D to represent the school at the next round at Leeds Trinity University.  This next stage will take place at the end of March.  Well done to everyone who took part, and we wish our finalists the best of luck in the regional round.