Scholars proud of younger year’s PRIDE Talks

Published: 8 Jun 2018

This May saw the exciting culmination of five months of work from a group of Sussex Coast College Scholars, as they hosted the PRIDE Talks conference at The Hastings Academy as part of their Villiers Park INVOLVE project. The evening saw 28 younger students perform live speeches on topics of their choosing, after months of planning and support from the team of Scholars.

PRIDE Talks is a Villiers Park INVOLVE project that forms part of The Hastings Academy enrichment programme, PRIDE Projects. The aim of this Scholar-led project was to build the self-confidence of the younger students in public speaking and to improve their research skills, by setting them the task of delivering a five minute TED Talk style speech.

The project kicked off in January this year with a parent launch event, where the Villiers Park Scholars first met over 70 interested students along with their parents to discuss ideas for topics. Following some training from our INVOLVE Facilitator Cerian, the Year 12 Scholars then planned and delivered a series of workshops to support the Key Stage Three students, covering areas such as investigating ideas, speech templates, refining speeches and dealing with anxiety.

For many of the younger students – aged 11-14 – this was their first experience of public speaking, and was a great way to raise enthusiasm for learning in their school. Some of the topics they covered on the evening included:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Why is space curved?
  • Death and why we stigmatise it
  • Transfer caps in football
  • The evolution of language
  • The economics of hope
  • Van Gogh: The troubles and inspiration
  • Should 16 year olds be given the vote?

“The evening was an incredible success, with the Principal and senior members of the school reflecting on both the capabilities of their students and the increased impact Villiers Park is now having on the school through INVOLVE.” says Alex Grant, Hastings Scholars Programme Manager.

The evening was hosted entirely by the Year 12 Scholars, who introduced each of the speakers and ensured everything ran smoothly. Guests and members of senior staff from the hosting school reflected on the depth of knowledge and confidence shown by the students.