The 2018 Debating season has got off to a fantastic start with 12 John XXIII College teams competing at Christ Church Grammar School on a Tuesday night over two terms. We have five debates during Semester One.
We have six teams in the Novice division which consists of Year 7 and 8 students. These teams are new to debating so we are very proud of their efforts as they learn the art of debating. Our teams have had a very good start to debating and as a result have learnt valuable lessons from their opposition and in particular from the adjudicators. We are using this information to help us improve our arguments. These students although a little nervous have shown great enthusiasm, determination and tenacity as they debate some interesting topics. Over the two weeks we have had a mixture of wins and losses. Our topics have been:
Round 1: That we should ban smoking. We had 3 teams arguing the affirmative and 3 teams arguing the negative of this topic. There was much discussion at our preparation meetings around the health issues concerning smoking.
Round 2: That we should have a quota of women in Parliament. This was an interesting topic when confronts with boys telling the girls they are misguided in their belief around the issue of equality. We had 3 teams arguing the affirmative and two teams the negative and one team having a bye.
Our Year 7 teams are made up of the following students:
Team 1: Eliza Smith, Sophie Gazia, and Sebastian Raj
Team 2: Delia Lamattina, Lottie Berinson and Maggie Costa Shrubsall
Team 3: Zac Schollum, Andoni Karafilakis, Spencer Burchett and Joseph Panetta
Our Year 8 teams are:
Team 4: Keeva Kirwan Lily Convery and Bella Boley
Team 5: Ashleigh Laurance, Gabby Panther, Thea Whitby and Alice O’Sullivan
Team 6: Art Walsh, Will Hart, James Green and Timothy Gardner
In our Junior division we have three Year 9 teams and one Year 10 team. Out of all these teams we have one Year 10 student Nick Brennan who debated last year so we are excited to have other students joining us and learning to argue a variety of topics whether they agree or disagree with the topic. The topics we have covered so far have been:
Round 1: That all media outlets should be bound to adhere to a minimum standard of truth.
We had 2 teams debating the affirmative and 2 arguing the negative case. An interesting argument took place as students battled out what is truth.
Round 2: That we should abolish the Senate.
This provided lots of discussion in the preparation meetings especially for the Year 9s who were trying to understand our political system. Lots of research, discussion and arguing took place in the lead up to the debate night. We had 2 wins and 2 losses. One of our losses was to A John XXIII team. We had 2 teams arguing the affirmative and 2 teams arguing the negative case. Some interesting facts were raised during the debates especially about representation.
Our team Year 9 and 10 teams consist of:
Team 1: Rebecca Harsanyi, Skye MacMillan and Ella Aquino
Team 2: Eve Cullity, Eve Pownall, Andy Priestly and Alex Owen
Team 3: Eloise Roberts, Amalia Olsen and Ashlee Harris
Team 4: Alex Panther< James Langton, Nick Brennan and Lorian Marshall
We have two teams in the Senior Division. These are made up of Year 11 and 12 students. The seniors have two prepared debate topics then they move into spontaneous debating where they receive the topic an hour before and are sent to a room to prepare. The only resource they can have is a hard copy dictionary. So, this debating relies on students have a broad knowledge of what is going on in the world in a variety of fields. Senior debating also allows the opposition team to interrupt the debater asking for a ‘Point of Information’. Students must accept at least 2 of these throughout their 7 minutes of arguing. It is really exciting to see this in action as students continue their argument without losing their train of thought. It is a skill that requires lots of practise.
Our senior debating teams are:
Team 1: Cullen Binet, Rory Hewston and Charlie Richards. These boys have been debating together since Year 9. This team is yet to debate as they had to reschedule their first debate then they had a bye. However, they have been working on honing their skills of Point of Information with Tom Paparo (Magis Captain 2017) coming in to coach them. Tom is an experienced debater, an amazing third speaker and had developed the skill of POI. His expertise is greatly appreciated by our senior teams.
Team 2: Bella Spiro-Harrison, Amelia MacMillan, Roberto Vital-Lawn and Neisha Priestly. This team has been successful in their two prepared debates. Neisha (Year 11) is well supported by the Year 12s in this team.
The topics prepared topics have been:
Round 1: That we should encourage the questioning of authority in schools. Both our teams had the negative argument for this topic. Team 1 will be debating this on April 10th.
Round 2: That the Government should cease providing foreign aid to countries accused of human rights violation.
Team 2 argued the affirmative case for this topic and were successful against Wesley College.
Thank you to all the students and parents who are supporting the debating competition. It is wonderful to have you on board and witnessing the growth of the students as they get more confident in their debating.
Ms Gemma Wooltorton