Public Speaking – The one skill that can change children’s lives
The thought of public speaking is frequently cited as people’s biggest fear. And yet, communicating our ideas clearly and presenting them openly in public is an essential component of success across several domains of life.
The best way (and arguably the only way) to conquer the fear of public speaking lies in the exposure and the amount of practice a person undertakes. The more experience you get; the more confidence you’ll gain.
At Sunmarke, we firmly believe in the importance of developing our student’s presentation skills from an early age thus allowing them to continuously practice and develop their skills in a safe and supportive learning environment over time.
We also encourage and praise the ‘learning progress’ in public speaking allowing students to use a growth mindset so that they enjoy the process of improving their public speaking skills.
Students from Foundation Stage to Sixth Form have numerous opportunities to develop their performance skills and are also provided with platforms where they can express their ideas and opinions.
Drum roll. The World Scholar’s Cup
The World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) is one of our most prestigious public speaking platforms that our students are part of and Sunmarke School has proudly hosted the event – both the Senior Dubai Rounds and the Primary Dubai Rounds, at our school for the third consecutive year.
This global competition seeks to develop students’ academic skills in a friendly but competitive atmosphere and covers a range of subjects including art, science, social studies, literature, music and history.
The theme for this year’s Primary Round is “A World on the Margins” and the specialist area is ‘Unsolved Mysteries’. The Dubai Round took place on Friday 24th May 2019.
Sunmarke’s Primary students busily prepared for this tournament during their weekly electives throughout the year, with the knowledge that confidence during debating competitions is important but it’s not enough on its own. Other key elements come into play – these include communicating assertively and respectfully about their idea, connecting and engaging with other children, as well as using effective timing and structure in their arguments.
During the Dubai Round competition, the scholars discussed worldly questions such as ‘What makes a good friend?’, ‘How might the Ugly Duckling have felt if he never found out he was a swan?’, ‘If you had a billion dirhams, what would you spend it on?’ and ‘What is the worst thing that has ever happened in your home country?’.
By working in teams of three, the children were given time to research and discuss each motion to share ideas before putting forward their arguments. The scholars also took part in collaborative writing tasks and individual and team question challenges.
Don’t forget the Talent show.
In true WSC-style, to spice things up, the children were able to showcase their talents on stage outside of academics. There were flute and violin recitals, singing to popular songs, a gymnastics performance and speedy Rubik’s cube solving session.
One child from every school was given the opportunity to take part in the ‘Alpaca Balance Challenge’ for the chance to win their very own alpaca – the famous mascot of the World Scholar’s competition!
The Life Experience
Overall, the students embraced this great opportunity of meeting like-minded students from other schools around the UAE. On the day, Sunmarke welcomed students from JESS Jumeirah, Jumeirah Primary School, Kings Dubai, GEMS Wellington, Winchester School and ASD to name a few.
Sunmarke students celebrated success in all rounds and were awarded multiple medals for their achievements. In addition to this, they were also presented with their very own alpaca soft toy to treasure forever as a memory of this wonderful learning experience.
Further exposure to debating platforms of this type will only enhance their confidence allowing them to communicate assertively, polity and with authenticity when speaking in public throughout their adult lives – be it in their leadership roles or when excelling in job interviews. The learning experience and journey is one that is truly invaluable.
So what’s next for the World Scholar’s Cup Tournament?
This year, both of our Primary ‘Skittles’ teams qualified for the global rounds which is a huge achievement for our young scholars, and as a school, we are extremely proud. The Global Round events for Primary will be held in Beijing, The Hague (Amsterdam), Sydney, Astana, Manila, and Durban.
Public Speaking for Secondary Scholars…
The World Scholar’s Cup for the Secondary phase has the Regional Round and the Global Round where participants then qualify to the ‘Tournament of Champions’ which takes place at Yale University in the USA every November.
In 2018, nine of Sunmarke’s Senior students qualified for the Tournament of Champions so we are very fortunate to be coaching our young Primary scholars so early on in their educational journeys.
To learn more, visit Sunmarke School during one of our Open Information Sessions. Book here.