Chailey – in the form of Odhran O’Donoghue (Speaker), Rhiannon Goss (Chair) and Tom Stone (Questioner) emerged victorious in the area heat of the English Speaking Union competition held at Brighton College and comprising teams from Priory, Brighton College itself, Moira House and Brighton and Hove School for Girls.
All three were highly commended for their contributions. Odhran’s wonderfully inventive rumination on the title ‘The search for extra terrestrial activity is a colossal waste of government time and money’ won him plaudits from every sector of the transfixed audience – but in particular from the judges who regarded it as ‘superb’. He spoke without notes for 5 minutes riding the laughs as he very cleverly and often satirically attacked the proposition. Equally eloquently he then defended himself against a barrage of questions from the audience and other students.
Just as important – as this is a team competition – were the contributions of Rhiannon and Tom, both of whom had to join the team from Priory for their presentation. Rhiannon commanded the stage increasingly ‘developing a good rapport with the audience’ as one of the judges remarked. Tom had the potentially tricky job of probing a very clever speech about dying with dignity but he carried it off with aplomb and emerged as the best questioner of the night.
Chailey School will now go together with Priory go forward to the area final.
Report and picture contributed by Chailey School.