Townley Student Wins Regional Final


Tuesday 28th April 2015

For the second year running a student from Townley Grammar School has won the Regional Final of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge!, a public speaking competition for young people.

Year 10 pupil Anna G was awarded first place for her passionate and thought-provoking speech about mental health entitled ‘A State of Mind’.

The event, which was hosted by Townley and held in the School Theatre, saw contestants from sixteen local schools competing for the title of Bexley Borough Regional Final winner and a place in the forthcoming Grand Final. 

The evening began with a welcome speech by Townley’s Head Teacher, Mr Deehan, who also introduced the “Speak Out” Challenge! MC’s for the night - Chris Billington, Associate Trainer for Speakers Trust (the UK’s leading public speaking training charity) and Townley student Bobbie, winner of the 2013 Bexley Regional Heat.

The Year 10 contestants, who had each won their in-house school heat, then took to the stage to perform their speeches in front of a packed auditorium that included the Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Howard Marriner and representatives from both the Jack Petchey and Speakers Trust organisations.

 Mayor Group A


After hearing the speakers articulate and inspiring speeches, a panel of eight VIP judges awarded First Place to Townley Grammar School’s Anna  Gunstone for ‘A State of Mind’, Second Place to Jamie Moreland from Hurstmere School for ‘Our Say in Education’ and Third Place to Michelle Eppey from Haberdasher's Aske's Crayford Academy for ‘Sticks and Stones’.



Students from Townley’s Performing Arts Departments provided first class entertainment throughout the evening, with a beautifully performed dance piece by seven of the school’s talented Year 12 A Level Dancers and an impressive live music number by a group of up and coming Year 8 musicians; these four artists came together specifically for this event to form a pop band and their rendition of Fall Out Boy’s ‘Centuries’ captivated the audience and had everyone singing along!

Anna Gunstone A

The event was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Chris Billington said:
“It was wonderful to run another event at Townley Grammar School. The facilities are excellent but it is the attitude of staff and pupils that make good experiences into great ones and that is certainly what happens every time I visit Townley. I love working here... And congratulations to Anna, the Bexley Regional Final winner.”

You can see Anna’s winning speech at the following link:


Special Thanks:

A huge thank you goes to Mr Suranyi and Mr Ting in the Music Department and Ms Flanagan in the Dance Department for overseeing the wonderful dance and music performances and to Mrs Melluish in the Drama Department for her invaluable help as the Townley “Speak Out” Challenge mentor. 

An extra special mention must also go to Year 10 students Tinuola Ibrahim and Osasere Osayimwen who did an exceptional job representing the school as official “Speak Out” Ambassadors and to the School Officers and House Captains who acted as Front of House stewards. 

Townley “Speak Out” Ambassadors:

Tinuola Ibrahim Osasere Osayimwen

Front of House Stewards:

Emma Rodgers Saw da Onanuga Jade Egemonye Emma Walsh Ella Hall

Year 8 Pop Music Band:

Anjola Akinduro Anna Priest Katie Tomlinson Catarina Rees

School Officer Representative:

Jasmine Afreh, Deputy Head Girl

Year 12 A Level Dance Group:

Charlotte Havard Francesca Wilmott Lucas Day Ellie Duggan Katherine Farrell Ellen Reid Honor Collins

VIP Judges:

Phillip Khan-Panni, Founder of the Professional Speaking Association Simon Blake OBE, CEO for the Brook Charity Councillor Sharon Massey, London Borough of Bexley Ryan Hawkey, Young Judge and Bexley Regional Final Runner Up 2013 Richard Welch, Borough Commander Bexley, London Brigade Sandra Osei, Portfolio Performance Manager, Mayors Fund for London Evelyn Khan-Panni, Toastmaster Matt Dronfield, Employment Engagement Manager at London Youth

JP10 JP5

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