This year, three NSW M.E.T schools held four inter-campus debates.
The incentive was to broaden students’ critical thinking and enhance collaborative and public speaking skills. Mount Victoria Year 7 and 8 students visited Orange Campus in Term Three to debate with students in Years 6 to 11. Oatlands Year 10 students visited Mount Victoria Campus at the beginning of Term Four, and debated with Years 9 and 10 students. The teams were mixed on the day to allow for the development of strong ties between campuses.
Mt Victoria Debating Team, Years 7-10
Students were presented with the topic on the day, and
were given one hour’s lock-down to prepare their arguments.
Years 6 to 8 students debated: That the internet does more harm than good.
Years 9 and 10 students debated: That Australia should allow refugees.
While many students were unsure and nervous, they embraced the challenge and celebrated the positive results.
Here are a few comments from the Oatlands’ students post-debate:
- ‘I thoroughly enjoyed our day at Mount Victoria Campus. The debate broadened my outlook and helped to give a clearer insight into debating.’
- ‘I enjoyed visiting the new school and I liked being in the company of the (Mount Victoria) students; they were friendly and made it easy for us to fit in. I also liked the debating side of things: writing the speech in the timeframe and then presenting it. I did struggle with the rebuttals and presenting them but with practise this will get easier.’
- ‘I enjoyed the excursion so much! It was such an awesome experience that I wouldn’t hesitate to do again! I enjoyed meeting/ getting to know the Mount Victoria kids; they were very friendly.’
Teachers are already making plans for further debating challenges next year, with Illawarra Campus keen to join in.
Mrs Egan (English Teacher, Mount Victoria Campus)