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Speak up! – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 16th November 2016

November 16, 2016
Ballard School New Milton Speak Up

Speak up!

Following the US Presidential Election and Remembrance Day our Ballard School Blog discusses public speaking skills! 

One of our senior staff members took assembly recently and took as her focus the famous comment from Eighteenth Century parliamentarian Edmund Burke,

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’

In a tumultuous week in which we observed from afar, no doubt somewhat bemused, the outcome of the US presidential election, we also took part in a ceremony and service at school for Remembrance Day.

For our 2015 Remembrance Day blogs ‘Remembering the Somme’ and ‘A Doctor and a Soldier’ please click on the links.

This week, too, has seen quite a lot of Press coverage about the importance of public speaking skills being emphasised and taught in school. We witnessed the potential power of such skills in the Trump / Clinton exchanges, debates and rallies just as we continue to do almost daily when  we read of (or see) parliamentary debates, speeches by world leaders in politics, religion, economics and society. My daughter-in-law was at an Obama live rally this week in Florida and that was a powerful event to behold. It’s not only those events on the world or national stage, however, which make an impact. In fact these can easily pass us by as ‘happening over there’ whilst what goes on in our homes, schools and workplaces where language, speech and posture are daily demonstrated can really make a difference – and an impact.

Our assembly speaker asked what we were doing to prevent evil, distress, injustice and unhappiness within our own small circles. Whilst at Ballard we put a lot of time, expertise and effort into producing confident young people, often with excellent public skills in speech, debate and communication, it’s vital that we pay attention to the personal interactions and perhaps more so. In recent weeks most of us have been amazed, and perhaps ashamed and deeply troubled, by some of the public rhetoric we have heard from the podiums of would-be world leaders. Words and actions of this kind invariably have small beginnings. What are we doing to take a stance against ‘evil’ within our own mouths, conversations comments, gossip and body language? All it takes…and suddenly we are in a world, perhaps very close to home, which is thoroughly hurtful and damaging in which to live and work.

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

For another blog around public speaking, do read ‘Making a personal statement’ (May 2016)

We tweet from @BallardSchool

Ballard School is a non-selective, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire (on the Dorset/Hampshire border), providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here

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