The English Department works hard both inside and outside the classroom to encourage students in the skills of reading, writing and debating.

Challoner's Speaks

Challoner's puts public speaking at the heart of the English curriculum. Every January a public speaking competition takes place and all pupils in Years 7 to 10 take part. Students are given a stimulus and they come up with an idea that is engaging, original and meaningful to them. English lessons are then devoted to researching, planning and writing speeches; often all that can be heard is the feverish scratching of pens on paper and the lightning movements of fingers on keypads. Once all of the pupils' speeches have been heard, a winner is chosen from every class. Year group finals take place over the course of a week, judged by a panel of teachers, School Governors and Sixth Form students. The tension is electric as the most worthy winner in each year group is chosen!

This year the stimulus was 'Speak Out!'; topics have ranged from speaking out about modern slavery, homophobia, racism, refugees, the genocide of the Uyghers in China, climate change and toxic masculinity (to name but a few). The imagination, thoroughness of research and quality of writing has been phenomenal!