Wirral pupils speak up at Rotary competition

Wirral Globe: Junior Winning Team - Wirral Grammar School for Girls students from left to right: Kira Stalker, Ellie Johnson and Rosabelle Bennett, with Principal of Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Kathryn Podmore, and Peter D Junior Winning Team - Wirral Grammar School for Girls students from left to right: Kira Stalker, Ellie Johnson and Rosabelle Bennett, with Principal of Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Kathryn Podmore, and Peter D

THIRTEEN teams from five Wirral schools and Birkenhead Sixth Form College took in a Youth Speaks competition, organised by the Rotary Club of Birkenhead.

Seven intermediate teams and six senior teams competed against each other for a place in the district final of the competition, which will be held in Theatre Clwyd in February.

This will be followed by the regional stage which will be held in Preston and the national final of the competition at the University of Hull.

Teams were drawn from Birkenhead School, Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Weatherhead High School, Neston High School and South Wirral High School.

Subjects included the role of the Police; What is Art; Phone Hacking and the Leveson Inquiry; the growing influence of Google and the perils of reality TV.

More than sixty people from across Wirral attended the event, which was hosted at Birkenhead Sixth Form College.

The winning team in the junior competition - aged between 11 to 13 years-old - came from Wirral Grammar School for Girls.

The students - Kira Stalker, Ellie Johnson and Rosabelle Bennett - delivered a debate which tackled issues surrounding the ethics of phone hacking and the subsequent Leveson Inquiry.The winning team in the senior competition - aged between 14 to 17 years-old - came from Birkenhead Sixth Form College.

It was the third consecutive win for the team and a second win for Holly Higgins who delivered a speech, debating the merits of Genetically Modified crops.

Holly, 18, delivered a speech on how GM crops affect the globalization process.

The team has researched sustainable agriculture and independent businesses and how they use fair trade and locally sourced produce to sustain a trade.

The Rotary Youth Speaks competition runs as part of a youth enrichment programme, which provides extra-curricular opportunities, work and voluntary experience and short skills courses for students.

Peter Davis OBE, president of The Rotary Club of Birkenhead, said: "For many years, the Rotary organisation has run public speaking competitions for young people.

"Public speaking is an important skill which can be drawn upon throughout life.

"Public speaking is key to life is Rotary and as always we are delighted to celebrate and promote the skills that young people demonstrate."

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