York School Goes To National Finals
6:01am 28th April 2013
Three girls from The Mount School in York have made it through to the national finals of a public speaking competition.
The Mount School York won the East of England Finals of the Rotary Youth Speaks public speaking competition in Kettering on Saturday 16 March, taking a place in the national finals in Hull this weekend.
Holly Gardiner, Alice Grierson and Lily Howells spoke about the legalisation of squatting, a topic of study covered through their PeaceJam work. Last year The Mount became the first school in England to adopt into the curriculum the international PeaceJam Foundation's Ambassadors Programme which is designed by the Nobel Peace Laureates.
The girls faced stiff competition from five other schools, to get to the national finals.
Holly said that "qualifying for the national finals is a fantastic opportunity to take such important issues, like PeaceJam and squatting, to a wider audience."
Alice, who was highly commended in the recent Model United Nations Conference - a schools' invitational exercise based on the structure and function of the UN - managed to speak despite suffering a bout of tonsillitis and said she is "looking forward to the national competition."
Lily, who took part in the regional heats, despite suffering from flu, felt after that competition, that she can rise to any occasion when needed, describing the experience as "confidence building".
Jo Hayward, Director of Studies at The Mount, said "It was interesting that the top two teams were all girls." The Mount is the UK's only all-girls Quaker school and extols the benefits of single sex education and the self-confidence it encourages within pupils.
Andrew Gardiner, proud parent and spectator said "The girls gave a great performance against strong opposition and they should be very proud of themselves."
Eight schools from across Great Britain and Ireland will compete in the National Finals at Hull University today.
Attached L-R Lily Howells, Holly Gardiner, Alice Grierson and a Rotary dignitary after the girls won the East of England final.
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