Powerful public speaking at the House Poetry and Prose competition

Friday 25 November 2022

The House Poetry and Prose competition returned on 23 November and the judges – Mrs Hall (Vice Principal), Ms Wells (Creative Arts and Events Lead) and Miss Smith (Head of English) – were amazed by the talent of the finalists representing their House.

Year 7 delivered poems, Year 8 gave speeches from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Year 9 wrote and delivered speeches about courage and courageous individuals.  The public speaking was outstanding: the students’ ability to engage the Year 7 audience and their confidence in delivering the poetry and prose was impressive.  The English team, led by Miss Burdon, are to be commended for the standard of the students’ skill in speech writing and delivery for this competition.

Winners were nominated for each year group, and the overall winner was named as Year 9’s Sommy Menkiti.  Sommy wrote and performed a powerful speech about overcoming fear with courage.  Finding inspiration in her parents, who both came to this country from Nigeria, Sommy recognises that she would not be where she is today without the courage of her parents.  “I’m very grateful for what I have,” she said.  “I’m proud and grateful to be in this country.”

Sommy is a budding poet, song writer and actress.  She started LAMDA lessons in Year 7 and has already progressed to Grade 4, and she has another fantastic public speaking opportunity when she will perform a reading at the annual Carol Service at Sage, Gateshead.  “The competition showed me that, if I put my mind to something, I can do it!”

Well done, Sommy!  You embodied courage in the delivery of your speech, and you gave the audience so much to think about.  To quote her concluding words, “Courage is a virtue that we can all possess, and if more people acted with courage, this world would be a world full of adventures, satisfaction and happiness.”


House Poetry and Prose Points