Winmalee Public School hosted the the annual Blue Mountains Oral Reading and Public Speaking Competition via Zoom recently.
Students in years 3 and 4 read from their chosen text, whilst years 5 and 6 write and deliver their own topical speeches. This year year's Zoom event involved nine schools and 36 students. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there were no visiting students, parents, or outside adjudicators. Instead, teachers from some of the participating schools took on the role of adjudicating from their own school, connecting to other adjudicators across the Mountains in Zoom breakout rooms.
Despite a massive thunderstorm in the middle of the event, the technology did not let the organisers down. The day ran smoothly with the collaboration of many teachers across the schools. Participants weren't without an audience as students from each school watched the event in their own classrooms - providing a larger student audience than usual through the connection of the nine schools simultaneously.
Winners of the oral reading competition were Annika from Wentworth Falls Public (Year 3), and Maggie from Glenbrook Public School (Year 4). Winners of the public speaking competition were, Taylor Harris from Warrimoo Public School (Year 5) and Jeremiah Hill from Faulconbridge Public School (Year 6).
The adjudicators were all impressed by the quality of the speeches and the confidence with which the young people were able to address an audience.