Public Speaking and Leadership

Encouraging an innate comfort and affinity for public speaking during childhood puts students in a position to become natural leaders and confident decision-makers as adults.  Part 1 of The Peck School's 2015 Strategic Plan, Integrated and Inspirational Learning, includes an intentional focus on nurturing public speaking skills from an early age.

At Peck, opportunities to practice and strengthen this critical life skill are woven throughout the full K-8 experience.  Kindergarten students learn to present themselves confidently during musical, language, and literary performances.  Every other week, students in grades 1-4 share their written works during Lower School assembly.  And in the Upper School, students are encouraged to share their voices both in and out of the classroom.

In sixth grade, students take a public speaking course to learn the particulars of rhetoric, debate, and presentation.  In their culimating year at Peck, eighth graders participate in the timeless tradition of the eighth grade speech—wherein each student prepares a thoughtful 5-7 minute narrative speech about something meaningful in their lives.  The speeches are delivered during Upper School assemblies, or during all-school assemblies.

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  • Course Spotlight: Sixth Grade Public Speaking

    For sixth-graders at Peck, their public speaking class isn’t just about learning how to stand in front of a crowd and deliver a speech. It’s become much more than that—teaching students how to speak with both conviction and compassion, to see issues from different angles, and to express their own unique perspectives.

    Just ask Isabella DiPasquale, an eighth grader serving as an officer of the Student Council. The lessons learned from this yearlong course have spilled over into other areas of her life.
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timeless traditions
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Northern New Jersey's timeless and transformative independent education for grades K-8