Time and tide waited for no man in this year’s Challoner’s Speaks competition, described by one contestant as 'challenging but very enjoyable'. The ancient phrase was the starting point on which Year 7 finalists based their array of spectacular speeches on Tuesday. Beginning with Foxell and ending with Thorne, all of the performances were of an exceptional standard, giving the judges a very difficult task in choosing a winner. After painstaking deliberation, they announced that Shubhan from Rayner, with his 'Has technology gone too far?' speech, was the victor, although it seems almost certain the other five contestants could also be finalists again in the future.

The following day, Year 8 presented their speeches on a range of important issues facing our world now and concerns that had an impact on us in the past. Topics included how schools were run, what we can learn from war and the pressures placed upon our NHS. All of the performances were impeccable, a couple featuring returning finalists from 2017. The judges declared that Ravi from Pearson had taken first place with his speech about the former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the tackling of racial and gender inequality.

Audio: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/395739405&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false

On Thursday, the speeches were again of the highest quality and the judges had no easy decision to make between a number of subjects including artificial intelligence and gun violence in the US. In the end, it was Jamie from Thorne, with a well-presented speech on the impact of social media, who won the Year 9 crown.

Year 10 concluded the competition with a set of impressive speeches. None of the contestants had reached this stage previously, so the tension was high. In addition, the performances were of a significant length and had to be spread over two days. The judges selected Ollie from Rayner as the winner, with his speech about plastic, its negative effects and how we can solve these problems. Not far behind was Drew (also from Rayner), who spoke about the importance of artificial intelligence, with the other contestants highlighting the serious issues of rape and homelessness.

Thanks go to all of the finalists from Years 7 to 10 for taking part in Challoner’s Speaks and to the English team for organising the competition.

AudioPlaylist: https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/442562706&color=2358A3&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false