Speak Soc 2020

Concord’s Speaking Society or ‘SpeakSoc’ is back this year, helping students with:

1. Poetry by Heart
2. Debating, Public Speaking and Model United Nations

Poetry by Heart is an opportunity for Form 3 students to perform poems of their choosing in an expressive manner. This allows them to understand poems on a deeper level, appreciate the way it should be delivered, and to get advice from the SpeakSoc student team and some of our brilliant English teachers in Concord who have great experience in coaching students in public speaking. It is not only a great way to indulge in your love of poetry, but also a brilliant way to learn to express yourself in public, giving you the confidence you need to speak out in front of people – a vital skill whether you’re looking to become a Politician or a Doctor.

There is also the chance of taking you and your poem to regional events and finals in the UK, which is a great experience and definitely something to include in your university applications. Furthermore, with the new Covid measures, we will be conducting such sessions on Teams, which will give all students experience on how to effectively convey the meaning of your poem in a rich and vibrant way on video… so if you’re in Form 3, do remember to sign up!

In our weekly SpeakSoc sessions, for students in all year groups, we’ll be teaching and exploring the arts of Debating, Public Speaking and Model United Nations. This will allow you to hone your debating skills, public speaking confidence and critical thinking abilities. Last year, we had interesting debates about what counts as a sandwich or a burger, and whether a Jaffa cake is a biscuit or a cake! We also had an interesting argument about whether the Coronavirus should be considered a pandemic before it was officially a pandemic. This year, we will continue with similar interesting and relevant topics such as the US Election, Philosophy, and Human Rights.

SpeakSoc is great for anyone who enjoys thinking quickly and analytically, and who wants to be well-informed about current affairs around the world. Though we will be on Teams, this is actually a brilliant opportunity for all those applying for universities requiring interviews to get some practice in speaking and communicating effectively across a screen, and for those who enjoy learning to gain broad, multi-faceted knowledge across several disciplines, allowing you to come up with balanced, informed arguments that can be great for any subject you wish to apply for, especially those that require essays (BMAT, LNAT, TSA, ELAT, and much more).

Additionally, Mrs Wear has kindly agreed to run masterclass sessions for those looking to further their debating and logical reasoning, so do look out for those!

SpeakSoc Team

Debate Ed 2019

On 16th March 2019, Form 3 participated in a day-long debating competition called ‘Debate Ed’ at Shrewsbury College. For the first part of Concord’s academic year, a dozen Form 3 students have dedicated an hour per week to develop their skills in debating, in ‘Speak Society’. Although there are a variety of public speaking abilities in the group, each student has shown tremendous diligence and perseverance throughout the course of the year. They were ready for a debate competition.

The competition consisted of three rounds and then a final – a British parliamentary style debate: two proposition and opposition teams. The eight students from Concord who attended were in teams of two and had prepared for one motion in advance: ‘This house would require citizens to pass a general knowledge test to be able to vote’. This was the motion for the first round and I am aware that Concord debated well, receiving 1st and 2nd place scores from the judges. In my experience, I used my five-minute time allowance, following a concise structure and logically developed arguments to earn a 1st place finish. The training I had received from Concord and Speak Soc had really helped, especially debating with older students from other year groups. The second and third rounds covered women in the media industry and the NHS system. Concord’s Team D managed to reach the finals and performed well considering the high standard of competition.

Due to Concord’s kind and sociable nature, all teams thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the other schools, displaying admirable sportsmanship. For those who had not attended a debate competition before, Debate Ed served as a good experience – experiencing public speaking, debating against people who they hadn’t met before, performing under the stress and time pressure of the competition. Whilst the debate competitions I have attended before have been heavily judged on content, Debate Ed was more judged on style and delivery. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoyed receiving feedback from the judges on how to develop my public speaking style, making me a more well-rounded public speaker. To conclude, the Form 3s represented Concord College exceptionally, gaining both experience and enjoyment from the event.

Seb – F3