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Obama inspires school election

PUBLISHED: 10:19 16 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:55 07 September 2010

Pupils at St Peter's School

Pupils at St Peter's School

Josie Hinton PUPILS at a Maida Vale school delivered Obama-inspired speeches in the hope of being elected school president. Encouraged by the recent American elections, children from St Peter s CE Primary School in Chippenham Mews brushed up their speech-

Josie Hinton

PUPILS at a Maida Vale school delivered Obama-inspired speeches in the hope of being elected school president.

Encouraged by the recent American elections, children from St Peter's CE Primary School in Chippenham Mews brushed up their speech-writing and oratory skills as they competed for the role.

"They were so excited about the elections that I came up with the idea that we should have our own elections and tie the whole project in to public speaking," said Vicky Bryans, Year 6 teacher at the school.

"We watched Obama's election speech and talked about what makes good oratory. Then they had a go at writing speeches themselves."

The teachers marked the speeches on content and presentation, and chose six speeches to be delivered before a panel of judges. Three of the finalists were from Year 6 and three were from Year 5.

The panel included headteacher Samanda Adcock as well as the school's deputy headteacher and two school governors.

After much deliberation, nine-year-old Daniel Gosine was elected president by the panel on Friday. But after an excruciating decision, they also created the role of vice president for 10-year-old Kaycee Garrett Paul, who was also outstanding.

Winner Daniel, from Year 5, said he was looking forward to working with Kaycee, who is in the year above him.

"I feel shocked and very, very pleased to be chosen as president," he said.

"I wouldn't like to say my speech was better than anyone else's but I think the content won it over. My speech was about what I want to change in the school. I would change a lot of things, like putting a carpet in the hall so pupils don't have to sit on the floor." Ms Bryans said the project had been a big success, and she would like to develop it further next year.

"The whole thing started as a persuasive writing project," she said.

"We have been trying to find things to motivate the children, and as we thought the election was such a big historical event we wanted to do something on that.

"But we were overwhelmed by the children's excitement. It's been a massive success, and something I would like to continue.

"I'm also now talking to the headteacher to develop the role of president within the school."

The election of Barack Obama as American president has inspired young people across the globe. The elections saw an estimated 23million people under the age of 30 turn out to vote - a 17 per cent increase over 2004.


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