Big wins for small school

Eltham Public School students (clockwise from left) Francesca Burke (10), Emily Macdougald (9), James Scott (11) and Dylan Davis (12) have all got the gift of the gab, and the certificates to prove it.

Eltham Public School is living proof that small schools can produce big outcomes.

Four of its students were recently selected to compete in the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking competition held in Grafton and their results were outstanding.

Dylan Davis won first place in the 5/6 division and will now compete in the regional final at Coffs Harbour on August 28, while Francesca Burke and James Scott came second in their divisions.

The school only has 78 students yet they have excelled in the public speaking competition over the past four years despite stiff competition from much larger schools.

The secret to the schools success is a dedicated principal, Rhonda Thomson, who believes mastering public speaking is vital for all children and a small school is the perfect place to foster this.

The students are constantly in leadership roles that call for them to speak publicly. Its impossible for them to hide in the shadows, said Rhonda. Plus public speaking is so important in all facets of life. As an adult it is inevitable that you have to speak in public and its far better to be able to do it in a relaxed way with confidence.

According to Rhonda, small schools focus more on the whole child, turning out young individuals who arrive at high school well equipped to cope with the array of choices offered.

Im actually trying to keep the school a secret, admitted Rhonda, because I think its just the right size and I dont want it to get any bigger.

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