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Outstanding Oratory at Queenswood

Published on isbi School News dated Friday 1st of April 2011

Feminism, growing up and the internet were the three subject choices for Queenswood pupils at this year's John Fry Public Speaking Competition held in the Clarissa Farr Theatre at Queenswood this term.

Mr John Fry was Chairman of Governors at the school until his untimely death in 1999 and since then a special event has been organised and attended by his widow, Mrs Diana Fry. This year the public speaking competition entries were from Scholars and Sixth Form. Preliminary rounds were held and sixteen entrants were reduced to six finalists. The girls chose one of three topics on which to give a seven minute talk and take questions from the panel of three judges. This year's topics included: 'Is feminism still relevant?', 'Growing up is just a state of mind' and 'The internet: friend or foe?'

The finalists and subjects selected were: Angela Lau (aged 18 from Hong Kong: Growing up); Isabelle Higgins (aged 17 from Woodford Green: Feminism); Daniella Ball (aged 17 from Hong Kong: Internet); Lucy Pickworth (aged 15 from Welwyn: Growing up); Grace Roberts (aged 14 from Brookmans Park: Internet); Isabella Hadjisavvas (aged 15 from Barnet: Feminism).

One of the judges, English Teacher and Public Speaking Coach, Mrs Gretel Jenkins, said: 'All the competitors spoke convincingly and confidently about their chosen topic which was well researched and well received by the capacity audience of fellow pupils, parents and teachers.'

After much deliberation, the judges declared Isabelle Higgins the overall winner and she was presented by the beautiful crystal rose-bowl trophy by Mrs Fry. Speaking after the event, Issie who hopes to become a lawyer, said: 'I really enjoy debating and feel it is important to participate in events which offer an intellectual challenge. It is an honour to receive the John Fry trophy, especially as I have heard how devoted he was to the school and girls' education.'
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