The power of small classes and country schools came to the fore at the finals of the Rotary Wairarapa Primary School Year 7 and 8 Speech Competition.
Among the top junior speechmakers contesting the finals at Carterton School last week were two boys from tiny Whareama School, which has only two pupils in each of the contest-age grades and a full roll of 32.
Twenty Wairarapa primary schools were represented, Whareama principal Darren Kerr said, and Whareama boys Logan Taylor, 11, and Jacques Le Grove, 12, were told that being finalists against the odds was prize enough, win or lose on the night.
"And when you consider that half of the finalists at the contest were from country schools, don't let anyone tell you small class sizes don't work," Mr Kerr said.
Carterton Rotary and Masterton South Rotary sponsored the contest and up for grabs was $100 for the winner in each grade, $75 for the second place-getter and $50 for third.
Year 7 winner was Lochie McNab (Gladstone School) who spoke on healthy eating; Logan Taylor won second prize for his speech on Nek Minnit man Levi Hawken, and third was Sam Morison (Martinborough School) with a speech about the eight most dangerous sports.
First place in Year 8 was Laura Dudson(Carterton School) with a speech called Plastic Fantastic; second place went to Will McMaster (Hadlow School) who spoke on tolerance; and the third prize was won by Anna Rossiter-Stead (Solway Primary School), who spoke about Facebook.