Poetry and Public Speaking

Providing the boys with opportunities to develop their confidence in delivering a spoken text to an avid audience, is an important part of their education.

Each term, we give our students the opportunity to compete in reciting a speech or a poem, or even participate in a team debate. There are class heats, which ensure that every boy has the experience of presenting to a small group. The finalists move through to a whole school audience, and the result is that they realise their personal capacity to engage an audience on a larger scale.

Fine-tuning their skills in non-verbal elements such as gestures, stance, eye contact and posture complement their understanding of how tone, pace and emphasis can influence the feelings and reactions of an audience. Underpinning these skills is the knowledge that being able to speak confidently to others is a pathway to feeling empowered and to establishing one's own 'voice'.

Over the years, boys have been encouraged to recite speeches from royal figures, political heroes, fictional characters, and stars of the film and stage. Students' own poetic compositions have been recited with passion, in addition to themes of poems that celebrate love, the joy of song lyrics and odes to the environment.