The judges of the SCAS Primary Public Speaking Finals for 2017 were most impressed with the standard of the prepared speeches. 27 speakers spoke from Years 4,5 and 6 before Long Break on Monday 22 May and 18 from Years 2 and 3 spoke after Break.

The Co-ordinators of the Public Speaking Program Mrs Bronwyn Vickers and Mrs Julie Chambers warmly thanked the judges – Mrs Andrina Dawson, a founding member of the SCAS School Council and former Deputy Chair, Mrs Sarah Jones (Literacy and Numeracy Integrator) and Mrs Stuart Cuckson (Dawson Library),

All students in Years 2-6 had prepared speeches at the beginning of Term 2 as part of their normal classroom activities. Students then presented their speeches in front of their classmates and the best three were chosen from each class to go through to the finals – 9 for each Year group.

The 2017 winners were
Year 2 – Jack Chambers (1st), Hamish Conaghan (2nd), Jasmin Morgan (3rd)
Year 3 – Finn Vicars (1st), Eliza Rose (2nd), Eamon Phipps (3rd)
Year 4 – Adam Hempsell (1st), Hugh Conaghan (2nd), Fleur Hillsdon (3rd)
Year 5 – Shalise Leesfield (1st), Isabella Mitchell (2nd), Louka Alexopoulos (3rd)
Year 6 – Cameron Grigg (1st), Ben McLean (2nd), Ban Rashdan (3rd)

From the 2017 finalists, a team will be chosen to represent SCAS at the HRIS Public Speaking Competition at Cessnock in June. At HRIS students from Years 3-6 compete in three sections- Speech, Impromptu Reading and Poetry Reading. Mrs Chambers and class teachers now decide which of the winners is best suited to compete in a particular category. Last year was the first year SCAS competed in the HRIS Public Speaking Competition.

The Visual and Performing Arts continue to be a very important part of the SCAS Curriculum. All primary classes enjoy a wide range of artistic activities with their fabulous work often on display. Performing in public, and speaking in public, are fostered through weekly assemblies and chapel services, concerts, dramatic performance and other special occasions that provide opportunities for our students to enhance their skills.

Several years ago Mrs Dawson, herself a retired educator with a deep and abiding love of English, and a foundation member of the Watermark Literacy Society, discussed with Mr Little her wish for an annual Public Speaking competition to be organised at SCAS in memory of her late husband, Mr Bill Dawson.