A message of hope: Redbridge school children give speeches in memory of the Holocaust

The Holocaust speech making panel: Ilford South MP Wes Streeting, Gearies Primary School headteacher

The Holocaust speech making panel: Ilford South MP Wes Streeting, Gearies Primary School headteacher Bob Drew and Highlands Primary School headteacher Dr Kulvarn Atwal. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar - Credit: Archant

Pupils from four Redbridge primary schools came together to share speeches of hope in remembrance of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust speech making panel: Ilford South MP Wes Streeting, Gearies Primary School headteacher

The Holocaust speech making panel: Ilford South MP Wes Streeting, Gearies Primary School headteacher Bob Drew and Highlands Primary School headteacher Dr Kulvarn Atwal. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar - Credit: Archant

Speeches on the theme of “hope” were given by 12 primary school children at Gearies Primary School, in Waremead Road, this morning,

The event was non-competitive with constructive feedback given by a judging panel consisting of Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Gearies Primary School headteacher Bob Drew and Highlands Primary School headteacher Dr Kulvarn Atwal.

Mr Streeting said: “It is easy to feel pessimistic looking around at the rise of extremism on the left and right, with hate crime on the rise locally and nationally.

“But these kids have turned up with a message of hope and optimism.

Year Six Cranbrook Primary School pupil Mahnoor Naeem delivers speech. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar.

Year Six Cranbrook Primary School pupil Mahnoor Naeem delivers speech. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar. - Credit: Archant


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”The future looks brighter than it is today.”

Around 1,000 Year 5 and 6 pupils across the four schools were asked to write speeches in memory of the Holocaust. The twelve who spoke were selected through an auditioning process.

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Delivering speeches for Gearies Primary School were Year Six pupils Nabiha Sajid, Misba Khan and Saanu Sivathasan.

The Cranbrook Primary School contingent consisted of Year Six pupils Mahnoor Naeem, Amalia Bros and Eshal Ahmed.

Year Five pupils Leila Lauder, Hashim Jalal and Year Six student Irtiza Ahmed represented Highlands Primary School.

From the Wohl Jewish Primary School, speeches were given by Year Six pupils Ava Rose, Ethan Clerk and Samantha Falk.

Mahnoor Naeem delivered the first speech.

“In the last year alone many sad events have taken place: the terrorist attacks in the UK and the Grenfell tower fire,” she said, adding: “Hope cannot be destroyed. Hope is the key to healing.”

Dr Kulvarn Atwal told the Recorder about the importance of building speech making skills at an early age.

He said: “I entered a speech making competition when I was eleven and it gave me a lot more confidence.

“One of the things children need to be successful these days is to be able to speak and inspire.”

Gearies Primary School Head Teacher Bob Drew said: ”I’m totally amazed by the quality of the speeches and how wise they were.

“The parents must be very proud of them.”

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