Speaking up for Holbrook

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Luke, judge Karen Kimura and Abi

Congratulations to Abi Tearle and Luke Handley for doing so well in the annual Young Speakers competition at Ipswich High School for Girls. Both made a very positive impression on the judges; with Abi selected as overall winner.

The competition, for Year 10 students, included participants from the High School and Framlingham College. Abi spoke on ‘Changing attitudes to homophobia’ and Luke spoke on ‘Education in our schools today: what really matters?’ Each student had to speak for 5 minutes and then take questions from the floor.

Abi’s argument was that we all have a responsibility to challenge homophobic attitudes. She asked the audience to reflect on why we appeared to be more comfortable looking at two men holding guns than at two men holding hands. Luke challenged the Government’s view that the school curriculum should become more knowledge-based. He argued the case for more opportunities like those he had had at Holbrook to ‘learn for life.’

Speakers from the other schools covered topics including immigration, space exploration and the age of consent.

Holbrook Academy Principal, Dr Simon Letman, said: “This was very, very pleasing. Both Abi and Luke prepared hard and demonstrated great skill and speed-of-thought. We will be doing more to develop public speaking at all levels at Holbrook. This is part of our new approach of developing literacy skills across the Academy.”