Kahibah Public School

Positive Relationships for Positive Learning

Telephone02 4943 4501



Debating teaches children fundamental life skills of listening carefully to others, seeing both sides of an argument, working as a team and expressing an opposite viewpoint coherently and without rancour or physical violence. It teaches developmental and sequential argument and it can inspire children to seek a broader general knowledge and a deeper understanding of the world around them. Debating really develops lateral and creative thinking skills.
We have divided our Newcastle debating competition into two distinct sections. The "Train-on-squad" is for Year 5 students who are just learning the art. The Premier's Challenge is for the more experienced Year 6 students.
Each of these teams is totally operated by students. The topic is given prior to commencement. Preparation time is one hour and the Train-on-squad teams may have one year 6 student to help guide them to develop their confidence with arguments and to help them with debating protocol. However, the year 6 person does not take part in the actual debate.
Our school hosts workshops for all participating schools, providing practical knowledge of the art of debating in graded sessions. Schools are then provided with a handbook which not only has the draw and the procedures to follow, it also has hints for both teachers and students so everyone can operate from a level playing field.
Host schools for each debate can provide an audience and this helps widen the knowledge of debating, exposing many additional children to learn and appreciate the power of the spoken word and the skills involved in the process.
This year our school won the initial rounds in each section, both the year 5 and year6 teams, winning the local competition and each proceeded to the district semi-finals.