GSO Test

Stowe Verse Speaking Competition

The final Monday of term saw the renewal of the Stowe Verse Speaking Competition. Every child in the school has spent that last couple of weeks learning, by heart, a poem of their choosing. Each pupil then performed their poem to their class and at least two from each form were chosen to go through to the final. Once again, there were two finals – a Junior Final for Years 3, 4 and 5 and a Senior Final for Years 6, 7 and 8.

There were 10 finalists in the Junior competition with poems ranging from the classic ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ by William Wordsworth to the more modern ‘I hypnotised the teacher ‘ by Ken Nesbitt. The judging panel was made up of 13 staff who gave marks in four categories – memory, voice, performance and empathy. As with last year, there were only two marks between first and second place. Congratulations to Gus, Hattie and – the Junior Winner – Jasper with his superbly engaging rendition of ‘Symphony in Yellow’ by Oscar Wilde.

The senior competition comprised 27 entries – once again, the largest field ever – and a panel of 22 judges. The finalists‘ choice of poems included: ‘The Dentist and the Crocodile’ by Roald Dahl; ‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mare; Roger McGough’s ‘I am not Sleeping’; and ‘To a Mouse’ by Robert Burns; two of the finalists had even written their own poem. James and Claudia took third and second places respectively and the senior overall winner was Patience with an incredibly dramatic version of Michael Rosen’s ‘Strict’.

A huge thank you to Mrs. Blomfield, who gave insightful and encouraging feedback to every single finalist - in both competitions. Finally my thanks to all the judges, to the audience and to the English teaching staff for helping the children prepare and perform their poems.