Public Speaking at PC 

All students study English Language at GCSE Level.  Speaking and Listening is a key component of this subject.  Students participate in a range of activities within their timetabled English classes and have the opportunity to develop their skills further through participation in several public speaking competitions held mostly in the month of November with Finals taking place February/ March.   For example: 

  • The Edgar Graham Memorial Public Speaking Competition – a five minute speech on a topic of your choice, delivered in the prestigious location of the Senate chamber at Stormont.
  • Soroptimist International NI Public Speaking Competition – only open to girls in Year 12 and 13. Individuals speak on a topic selected from a range of topical titles supplied in advance by the Soroptimist society whose aim is to empower girls by providing them with opportunities to develop their talents.
  • Business and Professional Women Public Speaking Competition – a team of three with a Chairperson, Speaker and Expresser of Thanks. The Speaker swaps with another team.  This means that the Chairperson has to introduce someone they have only met fifteen minutes beforehand and the Expresser of Thanks has to thank the same person.  The Speaker has to answer two questions unknown in advance. Wit and humour are essential as well as resourcefulness and the ability to think on your feet.

2016-17 Events


PC public speakers have triumphed in the Business and Professional Women’s Public Speaking National Final in England.

Having emerged victorious from the BPW NI Final in February, Portadown College’s Public Speakers proceeded to the National Final in England on Saturday 25 March and were equally impressive.

Katherine Whitten defended the right to freedom of conscience, tackling the topically controversial ruling on Asher’s bakery, supported by Tim Neill as Chairman and Alex Maxwell as Expresser of Thanks. They were awarded Best Team with Tim singled out as Best Chairman and Alex as Best Expresser of Thanks.

This is an exceptional achievement and a fitting conclusion to another excellent year of competing, with students placed first or second in all competitions entered.

Soroptomist Certificates for PC Public Speakers

This is a competition for girls in Years 12 and 13.  Becky Gilmore was awarded second place.  Other participants were Sophie Hill, Joanna Kerr, Alex Maxwell and Katherine Whitten.

Inter-House Debating Competition

A capacity audience were treated to three lively debates last Wednesday:

  1. This house believes that MLAs should work together or get out!
  2. This house believes that marriage is not the business of the state
  3. This house believes that millennial music rocks baby!

Best Proposition: Kiara McClelland  and Amy Boyce

Best Opposition: Matthew Walsh and Connor Brown

Best Speaker: Kiara McClelland

Best Response to Questions: Joanna Kerr

Best House:
Third place: Seale – Sophie Hill, Lucy Millsopp, Hollie Teggart, Thomas Frampton

Second: Macallum – Sophie Heasley, Helen Mullen, Joanna Kerr, Viggo Stanczac

First place: Shillington – Kiara McClelland, Amy Boyce, Matthew Walsh, Connor Brown