student nominated for ‘Young Speaker of the Year’

Monday October 8, 2018

A Concord Sixth Form student recently competed in the ‘Young Speaker of the Year’ competition, following her success in an English Speaking Board exam. Ruth from 6.1 achieved a distinction in her ESB exam at the end of last term – and was subsequently nominated for the accolade of Young Speaker of the Year. Over 30,000 students took ESB assessments across 2017/18, so Ruth was ‘delighted’ to be able to compete in a vast field of talent. Concord’s Head of English, Mr Phil Woods said: “Considering the standard of the students who studied for the ESB exams across the country, and the numbers involved, this is a hugely significant achievement. “The recognition that this award brings to Ruth is wonderful for her. “Particular praise needs to go to Mrs Sue Turford – who recently retired, as she headed up ESB at Concord for many years helping to inspire students, including Ruth.” For the competition, Ruth was asked to send a video of herself performing a poem or narrative piece of her choice that she had performed in her exam. “The competition came just before I was about to complete my GCSEs, so balancing my speaking practice and studies was difficult. Fortunately, the English Department were very helpful to me.” Special thanks goes to Mrs Rebecca McBain and Mrs Kathryn Weaver who helped not only Ruth but all of the students in both the Lower School and the sixth form to achieve some exceptional results in their ESB examinations last year. ESB’s Chief Executive, Tina Renshaw said: “We operate the competition in a learner-focused way. Students choose their own topics, poems and books. “It is wonderful to reward their talents and achievements and then share their passions at our annual Showcase.” Following on from the competition, Ruth believes the experience has ‘pushed her to look for further opportunities outside of the college’. “I’ve looked into plays – and have also been cast as Alice in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham, as a result. I’ve gained such a boost in confidence in my own ability. “I’d like to look at studying Linguistics at university too – which is closely related to my competition experience – focusing on communication skills.” Mr Woods added: “Good public speaking skills are essential in life and at Concord, we have always hugely valued the increased confidence that they bring. “Concord will be introducing LAMDA exams this year thanks to newly appointed Drama teacher, Miss Orlagh Russell, and Ruth has vast experience of these too, so we hope she can help set the standard which other students can aspire to.”