Contact Us

Home

Co-curricular

Debating

debatingDebating is the oldest and one of the most popular co-curricular activities at the school. Debating is open to all students regardless of experience.

What is Debating?

Debating is a fun and challenging activity where participants learn to communicate effectively and convincingly, construct persuasive arguments, refute opposing arguments, strategise and use their general and current affairs knowledge. Each debate involves two teams, the affirmative and the negative, who argue over a set topic. The affirmative team aims to argue for the topic whilst the negative argues against the topic. In a debate both teams must also refute each other’s case as well as present their own substantive arguments. It is the conflict that separates debating from public speaking and makes this activity particularly compelling.

 

Why do Debating?

There are many great benefits associated with debating. Debating:

Coaching

Debating coaching occurs on Thursdays from 3.30pm to 4.30pm or 5.00pm (for competitive teams) over a 20-week period starting in Term 1 and concluding in Term 3. Students pay an annual fee that covers coaching and entry fees.

All our coaches are highly experienced and are typically involved in intervarsity, state, national and international competitions.

Coaching gives all students the opportunity for valuable experience in debating regardless of whether they choose to participate in competitions or not.

Coaching covers key areas of learning in debating, such as: knowledge of current affairs and common debating topics, debating structures, conventions and strategies, and public speaking skills and styles.  Practice debates and demonstration debates are also held. Classes are run according to the skill and experience level of the class.

The 2019 annual coaching fee is $200. This covers 21 weeks of coaching from Term 1 to Term 3. There are also levies for competitors in the Eastside Competition, Friday Evening Debating Competition and the Premier’s Debating Challenge Competition. These cover competition entry fees and additional coaching.

Competitions

Eastside
debatingEastside is a competition run on Friday evenings in Term 1 and 2 between Sydney Girls High School, Sydney Boys High School, Sydney Grammar School, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, The Scots College, Rose Bay Secondary College and Reddam House. The participating schools take turns to host the debating evenings.
Debates are in a round robin format before semi-final and final rounds. Year 7, 8 and 9 teams arrive at 5.00pm to prepare at 5.30pm and debate at 6.30pm. Years 10 and senior teams arrive at 5.45pm to prepare at 6.30pm and debate at 7.30pm. The Semi and Grand Finals will be held on 17th May 2019 and 31st May 2019, respectively. Girls are selected to these competition teams in the process described below. All students and parents are welcome to attend the debates.

Friday Evening Debating is a debating competition for high school students in schools all over Sydney that aims to provide debaters an opportunity to debate in a friendly competition against debaters with similar skills throughout all stages of the competition. There are 6 rounds of debates that run during Term 1. The participating schools take turns to host the debating evenings. Year 7 and 8 debaters will be required to arrive at the venue by 5.30pm, ready to commence preparation at 5.45pm. Debates for this first group should commence by 6.30pm. Debaters in Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 will form the second section of debates. They will be required to arrive at the venue by 6.15pm, ready to commence preparation at 6.30pm. Debates should commence by 7.15pm. The Quarter-Final will be held on 17th May 2019, the Semi-finals will be held on 24th May 2019, and the grand final will be held on 14th June 2019 at SCEGGS Redlands. Girls are selected to these competition teams in the process described below. All students and parents are welcome to attend the debates.

Premier’s Debating Challenge
Sydney Girls High School enters teams in the following state-wide competitions run by the Arts Unit (of the Department of Education and Training) during school hours:

Schools Days and other competitions
Sydney Girls High School typically participates in the following one-day competitions run by various universities as well:

New South Wales Debating Union
The NSWDU hold workshops and trials for the NSW Schools Debating Team. In 2013 the workshops and trials were held at SGHS.

Combined High Schools Debating
2018 Debating Achievements Sydney Girls High School has developed an outstanding reputation for debating. 2018 was a strong year of debating for our school.

•151 students participated in debating Competitions

• Year 8, 10 and 12 were finalists in the Eastside Competition

• Year 8 and 10 won the Eastside Debating Cup in their respective divisions

• Year 8 and 10 were finalists in the Friday Evening Debating Competition

• Year 8 and 10 won the Friday Evening Debating Cup in their respective divisions

• Year 7, 10, 11 and 12 were zone winners in the Premier’s Debating Challenge

• Year 12 were regional finalists in the Premier’s Debating Challenge

• Year 11 were winners of the Sydney region in the Premier’s Debating Challenge

• Year 11 were state champions of the Premier’s Debating Challenge

• The Year 7 team (Olivia deWit, Kristie Hopgood, Josephine Perry, Ariane Varnava, Audrey Wong) were state semi-finalists in the Premier’s Debating Challenge in 2017

• The Year 10 team (Caitlin McManus-Barrett, Ally Pitt, Maddy Sloan and Amy Wade) won the University of Sydney Union’s Women’s Debating Tournament

• The Year 11 team (Amelia Byrne, Sabrina McKindlay and Anna-Sophia Zahar) were winners of the UNSW Senior Debating Competition Awards:

• Grace Lam (Year 10) was selected to be part of the Sydney region team at the Junior State Debating Championships held at the University of Sydney Women’s College

• Anna-Sophia Zahar (Year 11) was awarded best speaker at the final of the UNSW Senior Schools Debating Competition and best speaker of the competition.

• Ally Pitt (Year 10), Anna-Sophia Zahar (Year 11) and Indigo Crosweller (Year 12) was selected to be part of the NSW Debating team

• Indigo Crosweller (Year 12) was awarded highly commended speaker at the final of the Australian National Schools Debating Championships

• Anna-Sophia Zahar (Year 11) and Ashna Hegde (Year 12) were selected to be part of the CHS debating team Students from Years 11 and 12 are nominated by coaches in consultation with the teacher coordinator for selection trials.