Our students are currently competing in the Debating Association of Victoria (DAV) Schools Competition.
We have two Year 9 teams competing at ‘D Grade’ level, and one team of Year 10 and 11 students competing at ‘B Grade.’
For the majority of our Year 9 students, this is their first experience of formal debating, and they have found themselves pitted against Schools with a long tradition of debating. They have maintained a competitive and determined spirit throughout, achieving two wins and gaining valuable experience and feedback from each debate.
Students have attended workshops led by senior debaters and adjudicators from the DAV. They have organised themselves, and offered each other practical and moral support. Clearly, getting involved in debating promotes excellent teamwork, while sharpening the mind!
Our students will be given the opportunity to return to the DAV competition each year, allowing them to become seasoned debaters and formidable opponents.
There will also be further debating opportunities, for all ages, later in the school year.
Students have been reflecting on their debating experiences, and with two rounds to go, here are some of their thoughts.
Mr Gary Willis
Head of English
Round One: 5/03/19
Over the past few weeks, a group of Year 9 students have had the opportunity to learn the skills for debating. It was an enjoyable experience listening to guest speakers talk and train us, so we were prepared to write and present our debates. Our first topic was ‘Horse racing should be banned’ and luckily for both teams we were affirmative (for).
The debate took just under one hour as we presented and rebutted back and forth, between both the affirmative and negative teams. I think it's fair to say that we were all a little worried about presenting and coming up with rebuttals, as there wasn’t a lot of time to plan.
Both teams competed and did a fantastic job, and we all were very proud of ourselves. We all spoke really well and presented some strong points. Unfortunately, both teams lost by just one (CGS team 1) and four (CGS team 2) points, two very close rounds! As we prepare for our next debate, ‘All political parties should have quotas for female candidates’, both teams are determined to get a better result and hopefully win!
We all really enjoyed the experience so far, and we’re excited about the upcoming debates throughout the semester.
Molly Murphy, Year 9D
Round Two: 26/3/19
The second round debating topic was “All political parties should have quotas for female candidates”, basically meaning that there has to be a certain amount of woman in a political party. My team was on the negative side meaning that we didn’t want quotas, it was a strange topic and my team and I spent a lot of time researching and planning.
We were going up against Peninsula Grammar, who are known for their debating skills. My team and I were terrified going, especially since it was my second debate, but for my other two team mates it was their first debate! My team produced strong rebuttals, spoke clearly, stayed true to our arguments and it felt great! It felt like we were doing a good job and it turns out, the results reflected it. My team won by four points and I was lucky enough to be awarded best speaker! Planning, researching, writing speeches and actually participating and attending the debate is all hard work and it felt amazing to have that work recognised in the form of a win.
Teah Dorman, Year 9D
Round Three: 7/05/19
This was my first time debating. I walked up the podium and realised I had lost my cue cards. I started to panic, signalling to my teammates from the podium as everyone in the room waited for me to start. I then realised that I had grabbed an extra copy of my speech. Letting out a sigh of relief, I apologised and started speaking. After finishing, I gave myself a metaphorical pat on the back.
I thought I did well! However, I started doubting myself after the adjudicator constantly pointed out my mistakes.
Unfortunately we lost… but at the end, there were a lot of hugs, smiling and a little sadness. The adjudicator’s decision must be respected, but Mr Willis thought we’d been robbed!
It was quite an experience as I was the only debater out of everyone that had not debated. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone. Even if there is a small part of you that feels like you would like to do it, I encourage you to try!
Daksh Singh, Year 9C