2nd place winner of Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge

Wednesday 15 March 2023

The Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge is an annual spoken word competition for Year 10 pupils stretching the length and breadth of the UK. The challenges beings with a bespoke workshop for 30 year 10 pupils which takes place at the Academy each Spring term; pupils are chosen to attend by their Civitas tutors and English teachers. From here, a school final is assembled to identify who our Regional Finalist will be; each year, this is held in front of the year 9 cohort in hopes of inspiring the next generation!


2022-2023 marked the 6th consecutive year for Bolingbroke to be placed in the top three at the Jack Petchey Regional Final. A landmark achievement that evidences the pride Bolingbroke takes in this competition as well as the dedication of all 6 candidates across the years.

Electra (Year 10), with a speech entitled ‘The Power of Help’, was our top three Jack Petchey Super-Star this year. Having crafted a sophisticated, assured, and purposeful extended metaphor to shape her speech, Electra was able to incorporate personal anecdotes and factual evidence to support her main message. He speech embodied the judges request of a powerful and positive message reminding us in her final words to find rainbows amongst the rain, stars in the darkness, and lifeboats when feeling adrift. Her opening was certainly unforgettable, a one-word impact that had the audience hooked immediately. Such wonderous crafting ensured (as whispered amongst some judges and audiences’ members at the end) that Electra’s speech was in fact top spot for many. Even so, second place in the whole of Wandsworth is without a doubt to be celebrated and met with high acclaim!


An extra nugget of pride came on seeing our Class of 2021 Head Girl, Oghale, who is now studying at Oxford University, named as a judge! Having placed second herself, her being present on the judging panel showcases the legacy Bolingbroke’s pupils have at this competition.


We look forward to next year and the opportunity to top the podium, once again knowing that with the continued dedication to this event that runs through our veins at Bolingbroke that a top three place is a huge possibility. Long may the trophies sparkle in our cabinet!

Electra shared:

The Jack Petchey competition has shown me how to conquer my fears as previously public speaking was my worst nightmare! I learnt how slow deep breaths can reduce adrenaline so I felt less nervous, and the audience wanted to hear what I had to say so they weren't judging me. The competition has shown me that my voice matters and the topic of my speech about seeking help when you're struggling with your mental health or your homework is important and relevant. I felt empowered as I concluded my speech because i had proven to myself that i could challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone and say something honest whilst facing my fear. (Truthfully there are worse things than putting your ideas forward to an audience.) I encourage everyone to put themselves forward for the challenge as it is enriching and a fun way to learn what you are passionate about, an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends inside and outside of school.

It is important to SPEAK OUT about a topic that inspires you.