You don’t merely use your voice at Norfolk Academy, you discover it. And you are heard, loud and clear.
Students learn to use their voices to make things happen. To ask questions thoughtfully. To find answers persistently. To express ideas eloquently. Within the classroom and out in the community -- among both peers and adults -- students develop the skills to become confident speakers and persuasive communicators.
Norfolk Academy purposefully shapes students into poised and dynamic public speakers through a unique, time-tested program that begins in first grade and finishes with the Senior Speech.
The Speech Program
- Lower School
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “the skill to do comes of doing." We couldn’t agree more. So, beginning in first grade, our students are given authentic leadership and speaking roles to develop these crucial skills. Our distinctive “Boy-of-the-Day” or “Girl-of-the-Day” program builds, and then continually strengthens, the public speaking skills that help propel students into the Middle School with confidence and conviction.
- Middle School
In ninth grade, each student presents a five to seven minute persuasive speech to the faculty and the entire Middle School. Students work closely with a faculty advisor and school librarians throughout the process of selecting a topic, researching, drafting, polishing, and practicing.
- Upper School
The Senior Speech is an Upper School tradition that is at once a capstone and a celebration of each student’s accomplishment in public speaking. While the process echoes the ninth grade speech, seniors take the helm as the stages unfold, leaning on their faculty advisors for advice and encouragement, rather than for direction.