Logic, empathy, communication, teamwork - these life-long skills are just some of the benefits of debating. They are matched with the mental dexterity, planning and execution of Public Speaking - an art in its own right. Both are flourishing co-curricular offerings at TAS.
“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”
- Joseph Joubert (French philosopher and ‘man of letters’ 1754 - 1824)
Debating in Junior School
Starting in Junior School where key concepts are introduced, debating at TAS encourages students to be courageous speakers and challenges them to be critical thinkers as part of a program that has produced national champions but also welcomes those who just want to try something new.
Face to Face Debates In Middle and Senior Schools
Debating opportunities are varied throughout the year. For Middle School students there are debates against other Armidale schools as part of the Tri-Schools Debating competition and for our Senior School students there is competition in the Federation Cup against three Tamworth schools.
National Virtual Debating
We are also a very active school in the National Virtual Debating Competition run by Masters Academy in Sydney - a competition in which TAS has been a division national champion as well as reaching semi-finals several times. Tackling big topics against other schools from across Australia as part of the series of debates is inspiring in its breadth and challenging for all.
TAS also runs an inter-house competition in both Middle and Senior Schools which accrues points for the Clemson Cup for Public Speaking and Debating - a highly sought after prize at the end of every year.
Students’ versus …
In recent years there have also been Students v Staff debates, School v Old Armidalians’ debates while senior debaters have also adjudicated debates at Armidale Rotary Club. There are opportunities aplenty for the active debaters in the school!
While Public Speaking in Junior School is embedded in classroom activities and Assemblies, in Middle and Senior Schools students can take part in the public speaking section of the inter-house competition for the Clemson Cup. These competitions are held during a special whole-of-school Assembly in Memorial Hall in front of a capacity audience and is an always-entertaining showcase of skilful oratory, youthful confidence and wit.
Other opportunities include the Speaking for the Planet (Year 10) and Rotary (Year 11) public speaking competitions and the Lions Youth of the Year Quest. TAS has also fielded competitors in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition for GPS/CAS Schools.