This year we have 5 teams participating in the Queensland Debating Union Competition. Approximately 25 students are involved across the 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 year levels. It is understood that later in 2016, the Queensland Debating Union will be introducing Year 7s to debating, and hopefully they will be included in the QDU competition in subsequent years.
Debating is an extremely useful and rewarding learning experience. Not only does it improve students’ speaking skills, it is also a great opportunity to demonstrate leadership and develop confidence and social skills. Students are assisted in their development of this skills, by their coaches. Thanks go to Ms Roisin Parkins, Mrs Erica Black, Mr Andrew Quant, and Ms Kelli Livermore for their assistance with coaching this year.
Students who participate in debating are provided with two workshops throughout the season. The initial workshop is an orientation that either introduces or revisits fundamental debating techniques, strategies, and speech structure. The second workshop focuses on preparation for a style of debating known as ‘secret subject’ which involves strategies relating to timing and ‘impromptu’ speech preparation. These workshops are invaluable to all debating students, particularly the younger year levels who benefit from them as an introduction to the competition.
It should be noted that the commitment of some students who participate in debating can span years. For example, some of our Year 12 Debating Team, (which consists of Todd Heinemann, Shayna Poppleton, Billie Shanks, and Mitchell Jones) have competed in debating throughout their entire high school careers. This shows exemplary dedication and commitment. Good luck to all debaters who are embarking on another season of public speaking competition.