Teacher Tim Dyke with the winning team Oscar Mustard, Freya de Lisle and Rowan Carew
The team from Blundell’s School in Devon representing the South West region triumphed at a national competition to find the best young public speakers. More than 300 schools from across England and Wales entered the English-Speaking Union’s public speaking competition and, at this year’s final, Blundell’s School were crowned the winners. The team, Oscar Mustard, Freya de Lisle and Rowan Carew, all in Year 11, had already won four rounds to get to the finals, which were held at Goodenough College in London. In addition, Oliver Mustard won the individual category as Outstanding Personality, which was judged by a ballot from amongst the audience of all the schools competing and their supporters, while Blundell’s Head of English Tim Dyke was presented with a long service award by the ESU.
Rowan Carew, Oscar Mustard and Freya de Lisle
Blundell’s has entered the competition for more than 25 years and this is the first time the school has reached the final. Speaking after the event, Mr Dyke said: ‘The team did what they had to do and did it perfectly with grace, charm and intelligence. As for Oliver, he is an outstanding young man and has a brilliant future ahead of him as a politician.’
The Blundell’s team discussed the quote by Churchill ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts’. The judging panel, chaired by Baroness Maggie Jones, the Shadow Minister for Education in the House of Lords, commended all the finalists on the high quality of this year’s competition.
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Notes for Editors
- The Blundell’s team won the Exeter heat, two Devon heats and the regional South West heat to reach the final. Blundell's School, Tiverton is a co-educational day and boarding school for ages 11 - 18, with an adjacent day prep school for years 3 - 11
- The English-Speaking Union (ESU) promotes the mutual advancement of the English-speaking peoples of the world and the use of English as a shared language and means of international communication of knowledge and understanding. The ESU’s public speaking competition for schools has been running form more than 50 years