The Importance of Creating A Multi-Cultural Diverse World was the challenging topic that children researched and presented as part of the Viking Academy Trust public speaking competition.

Representatives from each of the Trust’s schools – Upton Junior, Chilton Primary and Ramsgate Arts Primary – were selected following heats to choose their own three finalists.

The grand final of the second annual competition was held at Upton in Broadstairs this year in a packed main hall full of pupils, teachers and a judging panel.

The competitors from Years 3 to 6 tackled their subject in a range of different ways to hammer home their arguments.

They were judged on the following criteria – the tone, clarity, and confidence of speech; how they hooked the audience; and the content of their presentation.

Some pupils drew from personal and family experience to explore the topic, others took a more global view, and some focussed on specifics such as disability, freedom of speech, persecution, LGBT and sexuality.

Such was the level of competition and the skilled arguments put forward that the judges broke with tradition and awarded joint first and joint third places, instead of the usual first, second and third.

They said: “Right across the board we were impressed with how well researched, prepared and presented the speeches were – everyone who took part deserves huge congratulations. Public speaking is not easy but all nine candidates demonstrated their skill levels which created a very close competition.”

The joint winners of the 2019 Viking Academy Trust Speakers Shield were Leotie and Angel, from Upton’s Year 6 and Year 5 respectively. Joint third place went to Zofia from Year 3 at Ramsgate Arts Primary School and Samuel from Year 6 at Chilton Primary School.

Upton’s Head of Core Curriculum Gemma Scarr co-ordinated the competition.  She said: “The content, style, passion, and knowledge that went into every speech was very impressive. Multi-cultural diversity is an extremely important global issue and it clearly means a lot to our pupils.”

The judging panel comprised VAT board members Robin Curtis, Rob Kenyon, and Elizabeth Somers-James plus journalist Peter Barnett.

The Viking Academy Trust public speaking finalists were: – Izzy, Mia, and Samuel from Chilton Primary; Angel, Lily, and Leoti from Upton Junior School; and Zofia, Charlie, and Henry from Ramsgate Arts Primary.