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Stratford Girls' Grammar School Stratford-Upon-Avon
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Year 10 Steps Up To The Podium

On November 24th, 120 girls from Year 10 embraced the opportunity to discover their public speaking voices. As part of the GCSE English Language course, students are required to devise their own presentations on a subject of their choosing, to be delivered and video recorded in front of a live audience.

The breadth, depth, reason and emotion of each students chosen subject matter was inspiring. From Black Lives Matter to nature conservation; from sexuality to AI; from nuclear physics to the psychological power of music; many subjects, themes and concepts were explored. Amid a world of fake news and fast facts, students from SGGS slowed the pace and told their story. In our latest blog, some of the contributors explain the topics they covered and what each subject means to them.

 

Representation in romance films

“I chose to talk about the importance of representation in romance films because I believe that love is one of our core human values, whether romantic or towards your family, pet, hobbies, a place or a thing. I also believe that film companies know this too. This has led to films perpetuating the myth and stereotype that love, the most human thing of all, is reserved for conventionally attractive, white, heterosexual people.

 

“I have seen the effects of this through my loved ones and the everyday homophobia or racism that they face. This is an extremely prominent subject, that I think is important to talk about if we want to be able to tackle the deep-rooted prejudicial issues of our world today.” Aparajita Gupta

 

The importance of self-esteem

“I decided to speak about as it was something that I deeply struggled with myself. I, like many teenagers, have been through an identity crisis, feeling like I was pretending to be somebody else to fit in. I gave this speech to inform and inspire my audience into knowing that they are not alone by bringing this issue to light. I was hoping to inspire them to be themselves, regardless of what others think. This is the speech I wish was given to me last year.” Priyanshi Agarwal


Animal cruelty in travelling circuses


“I chose this topic because animals are very important to me and I have had many pets. When I went on holiday to Florida, my family and I saw a street act showcasing some cats performing tricks they obviously didn’t want to perform. The cats were making heartbreaking sounds of distress and discomfort as they were made to leap through burning rings of fire and even over the heads of human volunteers. When the cats refused to complete the act, the man brandished a stick and yelled at them. This upset me to watch as I have my own cat, who is lovely and I would never want to cause her distress.

 

“This made me reflect about all the animals all across the globe that are facing cruelty in similar ways. Whilst these cats are used to human interaction, many wild animals do not understand why they have to perform or why humans are hurting them. This made me want to learn more about the cruelty circus animals face and educate others about it.” Sofia Edwards

 

Coming to terms with my blackness

“I chose this topic because sometimes being the only black person in my year can be quite isolating. I know that no one understands and it can be hard to convey my frustration without it sounding aggressive or unnecessary. By sharing an experience of mine through speech to my class, it made me feel a little less alone and that maybe more people could better acknowledge how I’m feeling rather than not knowing at all.” Fatima Dumbatta

 

COVID-19 restrictions on the elderly

“The forgotten elderly have been victims of stringent restrictions throughout this current pandemic. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, the ways that visits and freedom have been curbed has had a huge impact on the way that I see the effects of this national disaster. It is important to raise these issues which are part of the way in which society sees one group as less important than another.” Jemima Saltmarsh

 

Misconceptions about cultural appropriation

“This was a speech that focused predominantly on the ways that society have abused and continue to abuse cultural appropriation. I think it is vital that this is discussed as in many cases it serves to maintain and propagate harmful stereotypes of marginalised groups. What many see as a harmless dressing up costume or a new hairstyle can in fact be used to perpetuate the dominancy of a white ruling culture.” Kate Wade

 

 

 

Published on 08th December 20