The Dymond Speech Competition was instituted in 1911 by a descendant of Henry Dymond, who was a pupil at the school from 1810-1815 and was subsequently Headmaster of Sidcot from 1854-1864.
Henry Dymond was famed for his most impressive voice and the prize was originally known as the Dymond Elocution Prize, but is now for a speech given on a subject of the student’s choice, judged for its content and method of presentation.
The Honours Boards, which are in place outside the Old Library, list winners of the competition since it was established – Radio 4 presenter Justin Webb is listed for winning three times in the 1970s. Each year a panel of three distinguished adjudicators assess the speaking skills of the finalists at a formal evening occasion, which precedes the school Prize Giving.
This year's Dymond Speech Award went to Alessandra De’Capitani D’Arzago for her speech entitled ‘Possessing a Second Soul’ which focused on the struggles of learning a second language.
A diverse range of topics were covered by the other speakers with speeches entitled: ‘Man’s Best Friend’ by Charlotte Pittaway, ‘The Richness of the soul’ by Al Almastiri, and ‘Candy Calling’ by Zachary Brannan.
Mr Robin Fletcher – National Director, The Boarding Schools’ Association
Dr Sanjida O’Connell – Author
Ms Sarah Prag – School Governor
Headmaster Iain Kilpatrick talks about Sidcot School's annual Dymond Speech Competition
Possessing a Second Soul
The Richness of The Soul
Man's Best Friend