Culloden Academy duo set their sights on national final


Harry and Lauren pictured with Catriona Dalrymple, presiding judge of the semi-final and Procurator Fiscal for Local Courts in the North and East of Scotland.

Culloden Academy pupils Harry Ratcliffe and Lauren Parsons are through to the national finals of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Public Speaking Competition.

Competing as Grampian, Highland & Islands Sheriffdom winners, the debating duo won the National Semi-Finals against a team from Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline. 

The motion was Prison is not the answer for Women, and it was a very close affair. Harry and Lauren, who have not taking part in any public speaking events before this competition, emerged victorious and now progress to the National Final that will take place at Parliament House, Edinburgh, in front of the Lord Advocate in May. 

During the semi-final Harry and Lauren responded well to intense questioning from the judging panel, particularly from Catriona Dalrymple, Procurator Fiscal, Local Court, North and East of Scotland. This will prepare them well for the standard of the final. 

Culloden Academy English teacher Dr Greg Campbell said: “As both their classroom teacher and debating and public speaking coach, I continue to be impressed by the confidence and composure Harry and Lauren exhibit when speaking about complex and controversial topics in very formal environments. The skills they are developing will help them here in the classroom and also in the wider world of work in the years to come where I am excited to see what they will contribute to society.” 

Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee added: “It is remarkable that this is the first year Lauren and Harry have done any public speaking so to get to the final in such a prestigious competition is a huge achievement. I am sure all the whole school will be rooting for them and I wish them the very best for the finals.” 

4 Apr 2019
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