On Thursday and Friday of Week 8, a group of over 60 students from Years 5 to 10 participated in an Internal Debating Day. Activities included guided workshops, public speaking games, watching and analysing the 2019 NSW Premier’s Challenge State Final and more.
Students put their knowledge into practice in the afternoon with a formal debate. Topics for these debates included “Robots should replace teachers”, “Learning at home is better than learning at school”, “Schools should ban devices”, “Social media has made the world a better place” and more.
Debate activities are thought to increase student achievement and engagement, deepen conceptual understanding and build critical thinking skills and argumentation. These skills reflect our deeper learning philosophy—particularly the Cs of communication, critical thinking and creativity.
Many students were participating in their first debates, and spoke impressively and confidently. This is a credit to their courage, as well as the guidance and leadership of their more experienced peers. In all, students enjoyed the chance to participate in an extra-curricular activity after an extended break, and their teachers enjoyed seeing significant growth in the space of day, culminating in sophisticated and stimulating debates.