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News > School News > GCSE celebrations for region's best young public speakers

GCSE celebrations for region's best young public speakers

7 Sep 2022
School News

THE Schools' top young public speakers who represented the region in a prestigious national competition just days before taking their GCSE exams today celebrated a raft of impressive results.

Arwen Jenkins, Imogen Golding-Douglass, Ben Patrick and Nasif Chowdhury, who all attend Dame Allan’s Schools, in Newcastle, collected 32 grades 9 – 7 (A* to A) between them – with all achieving a grade 9 or 8 in English Literature.

Just days before GCSE examinations began in May, the four teenagers formed one of 13 teams to travel to the University of Cambridge for the national final of the English Speaking Union (ESU) Churchill Public Speaking Competition – the largest contest of its kind, attracting some 400 teams from across England and Wales.

Dame Allan’s Principal Will Scott said: “Arwen, Imogen, Ben and Nasif have excelled in their final GCSE year and made the Schools very proud with their success on the public speaking circuit.

“Their fantastic results today are reflective of the hard work they put into their schoolwork and the balance they achieved between their academic studies and their co-curricular debating and public speaking success.”

Dame Allan’s Girls’ School pupil Imogen, from Bedlington, got nine grade 9s at GCSE and plans to take English Literature, French and History at A Level, with hopes to study Law at university. “I’m so proud of myself and absolutely delighted with my grades,” she said. “I plan to continue public speaking as I think it’ll be really helpful in the future; I’d love to study Law and perhaps be a barrister one day.”

Talented speaker Arwen, 16, from Blyth, Northumberland, said she was ‘exceptionally proud’ of her collection of 9 – 7 grades and has chosen to take English Lit, French and Psychology at A Level.  “I worked very hard for the exams and they were stressful at times, but I’m so pleased with the results and excited to start the Sixth Form,” she said. 

She has become a Young Member of the ESU, and together with Imogen will mentor others at Dame Allan’s Schools and encourage younger pupils to get involved in public speaking.

Boys’ School pupil and Chair of the public speaking team Ben, 16, from Ponteland, celebrated an outstanding full set of grade 9s at GCSE and plans to study Politics, Maths and History at A Level. Nasif, 16, from Newcastle, also celebrated his raft of great grades and has chosen to take Politics, French and German.

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