Andrew Garman Lecture Finals
Thursday, 7th November 2013
We happily welcomed back Mr Boulter-Comer, Head of Drama at Fettes College, to judge the finals of our school lecture competition this year. Mr Boulter-Comer had already been to St. Mary’s recently to inspire the children in their acting, and although they were onstage for a different purpose this afternoon, the confidence, clarity of speech and inventiveness they gain from their drama study certainly shone through.
Six competitors battled it out in the Junior Competition. William bravely went first, and gave us a wonderfully informative and well-paced talk about Lego. This is a topic close to many children’s hearts, but William still managed to surprise us with facts we hadn’t heard before. Iona S followed with her personal memories of Iceland, a fascinating place of geysers and hot springs. Her lecture was very carefully organised, and we were swept along on her journey. Jessica W concluded the Form 4 entries; personally I’m not a ‘small fluffies’ person, but even I have to admit that Jessica’s bunnies are completely adorable, especially when hopping about on their leads. The enthusiasm Jessica has for this subject is clear, and it was fantastic to see her bounce up onto the stage so keenly.
Louisa F was first up for the Form 5s, and told us about her grandfather’s adventures in WW2, where he flew planes which defended vital convoys. Louisa’s personal reflections made this a very touching lecture, as did the display of her grandfather’s uniform alongside pictures of him in action. Chloe-Marie told us about the spirit of the Olympics; this, too, is a topic we’ve heard about in previous competitions, but Chloe-Marie made it her own, and added to our knowledge with new examples and a wonderful enthusiasm. Harriet closed the Junior part of the competition with a horrible history of Alcatraz; we really did have a varied programme this year! Harriet gave us all the gory details we desired, kept our attention brilliantly and presented some excellent visuals.
After the interval, we came back for the Senior Competition; nine competitors in this group, and again, an excitingly varied set of topics. Adam A started off, and even though I had heard his speech before in the Heats stage, I was still on the edge of my seat as he carefully explained his engaging interpretations of the characters of the Lewis chessmen. Lucy B took us through a very personal topic, that of fussy eating, and we learned an immense amount about why some tongues are more sensitive than others when it comes to ‘the dreaded brussels sprout’. Lucy’s lecture was fabulously well-organised, with speech markers and summing up sections to help us keep track of all the science. Annabel was the final Form 6 lecturer, and gave us an informative but also very funny rundown of the history of the rollercoaster, as well as pointing out a few of her favourite examples around the world.
Georgia B was the first speaker from the Form 7s; I think her visual aid to help us understand the height of the high-jumping world record will stay in our minds for a very long time. It showed us an incredible achievement, and from the personal reflections in her lecture, it is clear that Georgia hopes to wow us on the athletics field in the future as much as she did on the stage today. Cameron L told us the history of the running shoe (Mrs Bell and Mr Mill are clearly doing something right!), and breathed lots of interest and enthusiasm into this topic, as well as organising his speech carefully. Georgina looked ever so slightly fiendish as she took to the stage with tumblers of chemicals, and her lecture on explosions did indeed turn out to have an experimental aspect. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the pacing and the personal reflection in Georgina’s lecture, and again, plenty was learned.
The Form 8s had a very tough set of lectures to follow, but they rose to the challenge. Charlie E’s passion for the Ashes competition was evident as he waved his mini cricket bat around and regaled us with anecdotes, facts and personal opinion. Oliver F, on the other hand, had opted for a topic not personal but international, considering the causes for and response to Somalian piracy. This was a very mature talk, and I was thoroughly impressed with the manner in which Oliver had put it together. Last but by no means least was Francesca, who told us about the history of the Fringe Festival, ably and engagingly combining facts we didn’t know before with her own personal experience and opinion.
I wouldn’t have taken Mr Boulter-Comer’s place for the world; he commented on the quality of lectures across the board, and was thrilled at the variety with which we’d presented him. In the end, his decisions were:
First – Louisa, My Grandpa and World War II
Second – Harriet, The Horrible History of Alcatraz
Third – Iona S, Iceland
First – Lucy B, Sweet or Sour
Second – Charlie E, The Ashes
Third – Oliver F, Somalian Pirates
Highly Commended – Cameron L, The History of Running Shoes and Francesca, The Fringe Festival
We thank Mr Boulter-Comer for coming to see us again, and for his valuable comments on each of the performances. Thanks also to the audience; it is always cheering to see so much parental support for this event. Congratulations to all who took part in the competition; not just the winners and finalists, but everybody who got up to present a lecture to their class. It has been superb fun.
Miss E Simpson, 11/11/2013