The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) showcased the best of Wales’ young comedy talent at its Voice Box joke telling competition for primary school-aged children on 3 April 2019 at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay.
The RCSLT teamed up with the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Cymru and Parentkind to hold the contest, which reminds people that all children need support to be confident with their communication skills and some need specialist help to speak and/or understand what is being said to them.
More than 700 schoolchildren between the ages of five and 11 years old took part in the RCSLT’s competition. Just 10 primary and special school pupils were selected to compete in the final.
The winner, Leo Jones, from Llangors Church in Wales School in Brecon impressed the judges with his joke:
An inflatable boy went to an inflatable school with an inflatable headmaster. One day the inflatable boy went running around the whole school with a drawing pin going ‘phst, phst, phst’ and popping everything he could find.
The inflatable headmaster called the inflatable boy to the office and said: “I’m very disappointed in you. You’ve let me down; you’ve let yourself down and you’ve left the whole school down.”
Dr Alison Stroud, Head of Wales for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, said: “Congratulations to all of the finalists, who did a brilliant job at telling their jokes and certainly made us laugh. It was a tough decision, as everyone was fantastic, but Leo really demonstrated how important good communication skills are and we would like to thank all of the schools who participated in this year’s Voice Box contest.”
Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, who gave a short keynote at the competition, commented: “All children need help to develop their skills to communicate, not only at home, but at school and when enjoying activities. Supporting children to develop their speech and language skills helps them to become more receptive to learning, handle social situations and can result in better behaviour. It was fantastic to meet this year’s Voice Box finalists and I’m sure we have some future comedians in our midst.”
Deputy Presiding Officer, Ann Jones AM, who presented each finalist with their Voice Box prize added:
“It was a pleasure to meet the young Voice Box finalists and celebrate with them. How we communicate is so important. It shapes how we share our stories and the work that speech and language therapists do here in Wales in making such a positive difference to children and young people. They might just be our future business leaders, politicians or academics.”
Bailey from Ysgol Y Deri Special School in Penarth was a runner-up with his joke:
The other eight finalists came from across Wales:
- Owen Powell, 9 years old from Hafod-Y-Wern Community Primary School, Wrexham
- Ethan Dando, 6 years old from Llwyncrwn Primary School (Speech & Language class), Pontypridd
- Osian Cole, 5 years old from Ysgol Gymraeg Pen-y-Groes, Cardiff
- Jensen O’Riordan, 8 years old from Llandough Primary School, Cardiff
- Jayden Lewis, 9 years old from Parc Lewis Primary School, Pontypridd
- Jureid Ali, 9 years old from Moorland Primary School, Cardiff
- Jacob Metcalfe, 7 years old from Hay-on-Wye Primary School
- Rhys Williams, 8 years old from St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Wrexham
For more information on the RCSLT and its Giving Voice campaign visit www.rcslt.org