After winning rounds 1 and 2 of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition, The Sir John Colfox Academy Intermediate team travelled to the Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar, to compete in the District Final.
The team of Eddie Rose, Alfred Ross and Lily Rayner are all in Year 8 and were competing against students who were a year older in many cases. Unperturbed by the stiff competition in the shape of the other round two winners from Sherborne School, Frome Community College and The Sheldon School, the Colfox team delivered a flawless performance with their piece titled 'The Ordinary Hero'. The audience and judges were captivated by their confidence, fluency and skilful handling of the topic. Questions from the floor were handled calmly and it was in the end no surprise that the trip of classmates came away as the District Champions.
Their prize is a place in the Regional Final which is being held at Shaftesbury on 21st April. To win three rounds in a row is a wonderful achievement and something that has not been done in recent history. Colfox Youth Speaks lead, Roz Ward, said: 'These students are an absolute credit to themselves and the school. Their performances have been getting better and better and to win the District Final is no more than they deserve. I am very proud of them.'
Unfortunately Colfox were prevented from a possible 'double' in Cheddar as the Senior A team could not take up their place in the District Final. Having tied for first place with Beaminster School in round 1, the team comprising Manny Cox, Nat Wormleighton and Jade Farrington went on to win round 2 outright. Jade stood in as a late replacement for round one main speaker Emily Hendry who had taken ill. Sadly a combination of illness and unavailability meant that the team could not progress to the final but nonetheless enjoyed their experience and success in rounds one and two.
On Youth Speaks Headteacher David Herbert commented: 'This is a wonderful event that the Rotary organise every year giving so many students a platform from which to share their thoughts on very interesting topics and which gives them a chance to develop all important oracy skills. I take my hat off to all the competitors who are brave enough to stand up in front of the judges and test themselves. Our success this year has been amazing and Lily, Alfred and Eddie deserve huge congratulations.'