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Public Speaking Competition

Beaconsfield Public Speaking Competition organised by the Royal Air Force, Air Cadets

The Beaconsfield Public Speaking Competition was held on the evening of the 9th of November and was organised by Beaconsfield’s Royal Air Force, Air Cadets. It gave the young people of Beaconsfield a valuable opportunity to be involved locally in the national commemorations of the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1 (WW1), a significant milestone in world history.

A Year 10 and 13 student represented the school, competing in the Senior category, where they were to focus on the theme of ‘Peace is not an absence of war’.

Despite the common theme and the need to formulate ideas on World War One and it’s impact, both students created engaging speeches with different thought provoking themes.

The Year 13 presentation ‘Educating for Peace’ was inspired by a quote from the philosopher Jonathan Glover: ‘History enables us to look hard and clearly at some monsters inside us, but this is part of the project of caging and taming them’.  She pointed to the work of the League of Nations (later the UN) and that despite 100 years since the First World War, peace was still yet to be experienced around the world.

Her overall message was that we must all ‘cage and tame our own beasts’ to truly move towards peace.

The Year 10 presentation was praised by MP Dominic Grieve for its emotive nature. Entitled ‘There was nothing in his belongings from the war’ she discussed her research into the physical, mental and social scars of the surviving   soldiers of the Great War; including the effects on her Great Grandfather who had never spoken about the war to a sole, despite joining the Bedfordshire regiment at the age of 14.

All participants left the audience with deep soul searching questions, making a meaningful commemoration for the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One.