Battle Royal for Public speaking

Twenty-four students making up eight teams guaranteed a battle royal at the Harpenden heat of Youth Speaks, the national Rotary public speaking competition. The event, organised by Rotary in Harpenden, was held at Harpenden Indoor Bowls Club.

Beechwood Park School, Markyate, saw off stiff competition from Roundwood Park and Sir John Lawes schools to lift the Intermediate cup (ages 11-14) with their topic ‘The World’s Greatest Invention’. Roundwood Park, whose topic begged the question ‘Does Truth Exist Anymore?’ came out winners in the Senior section (ages 14-18).


Beechwood Park School’s winning team of Joshua Griggs, Jonathan Webb and Freddie Williamson with Rotary in Harpenden President Liz Jack and Harpenden Town Mayor Cllr David Heritage

Roundwood Park School’s winning team: Alastair Holmes, Tyler Birkwood and Emma Carney

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The judges were distinguished toastmasters Elizabeth Jordan and Richard Rutty, both from the Hertfordshire Circuit of Toastmasters. They were joined by Harpenden Town Mayor Cllr David Heritage.

Senior judge Elizabeth Jordan commended all the teams for their strong teamwork and for their inspirational, powerful and engaging talks.
The two winning teams now go forward to the District Semi-Finals.The judges were distinguished toastmasters Elizabeth Jordan and Richard Rutty, both from the Hertfordshire Circuit of Toastmasters. They were joined by Harpenden Town Mayor Cllr David Heritage.

Nineteen-year-old to teach English in Malaysia

A former student at St George’s School is spending eight months in Malaysia as a volunteer teaching English at a secondary school in Kelantan.


Nineteen-year-old Lottie Apsey has deferred going to university to read biology to take the attachment, arranged by the educational charity Project Trust.


Her efforts to raise the £5,500 needed to cover the flights, training, insurance, support and basic overseas living costs included arranging a concert at school and a themed dinner. She also obtained a grant of £500 from Rotary in Harpenden which was doubled to £1,000 by means of a Rotary District matching grant.


Lottie said: ‘I’ve always been willing to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself and that’s what my eight months in Malaysia will mean. I’ll have to learn a completely new language and get to grips with very different cultures, given the country’s mix of Malays, Chinese and Indians.


‘But I’m sure it’s going to be a worthwhile experience for me. At the same time I’ll be helping the students to learn not just the English language but something of our culture.’


Rotary in Harpenden President Liz Jack commented: ‘Rotary is an international organisation. Helping this remarkable young lady to learn about the world while contributing to it is precisely the sort of voluntary project we are keen to support.’

Sharpening students' interview techniques

Few school leavers seeking a university place or a job will have experienced the all-important face-to-face interview. This is why, each year, Rotary in Harpenden offer local students the opportunity to go through a 'mock interview'.


Working in pairs, our members draw on their own experience of being interviewed and, in the course of their careers, interviewing others.


This year 52 students from Roundwood Park, St George's and Sir John Lawes schools grabbed the chance of a 20-minute mock interview, followed by a 10-minute review of their performance. Feedback every year confirms how much students come to value this experience.

New challenge for young photographers

Budding young photographers have been given the opportunity to enter their work in a new competition. Rotary in Harpenden have initiated a Harpenden heat in the nations-wide Young Photographer Competition, run by Rotary International in Britain and Ireland (RIBI).

The competition is split into three age-defined sections: junior, intermediate and senior. The judges, who had no knowledge of the identities of the competitors, were the chairman of the Harpenden Photographic Society, Peter Stevens, and the society’s external competition secretary, Torben Cox. Highly placed entries in the local heats can progress to district and national levels of the competition. The theme for photographic entries in 2017/18 was "A Different Perspective"

For Harpenden Village Rotary Club website click here


Rotary in Harpenden

Rotary in Harpenden is a charity that runs community events in Harpenden and surrounding villages, with help from Rotary Club members and others. Ten regular events are pictured below. For more details click on any picture, or on "Events and Activities" in the menu above.

Classics on the Common
Rotary Shoe Boxes
Mock Interviews
Santa's Float
Christmas Carol Concert
Youth Speaks
Young Photographer Awards
Technology Tournament
Quiz of Quizzes
Young Citizen Awards
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Rotary in Harpenden CIO is a charitable incorporated organisation, Registered Charity No.1163420
For Harpenden Village Rotary Club website click here