St Mary’s is proud to have a strong tradition of debating at the College. For many years, our debating teams have had a great amount of success debating in the local APEX Debating Competition in Term One of each year. Typically, the College enters six-seven teams in the Year 7/8, Junior (9/10) and Senior (11/12) divisions.
In addition to this, we also hold a more relaxed debating season in Term Three with schools from our local community to continue to develop skills and grow a passion for debating. Part of this also involves our students mentoring students from local primary schools to foster an interest in debating, which our students see as extremely beneficial. Students participate in and run weekly workshops and debates throughout the term.
Year after year, our debating students are given the opportunity to develop teamwork skills, build the ability to think laterally, grow their communication skills, and have fun in the process. Debating is a great way for our students to develop public speaking skills that have endless benefits across all of their subjects.
Debating involves the following skills:
- Commitment to the requirements of the competition
- Rigorous and critical thinking
- Problem solving and innovative thinking
- Synthesis of wide bodies of complex information
- Effective communication
- Pro-active independent research
The benefits for students of debating include:
- Marked improvement in a wide variety of academic skills
- Greatly improves reading comprehension
- Become self-directed learners
- Ability to think laterally
- Capacity to quickly create logical counterpoints
- Develops mental and emotional maturity
- Recognition and evaluation of how others think
- Improves cooperation and conflict resolution
“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” – Mahatma Ghandi