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Arguing the Point

Debating at ATC has reached an approximate half way point of the season with six teams in the Senior QDU preliminary rounds of competition including one team from both Year 11 and Year 10 and two teams from both Year 9 and Year 8.

Decades of academic research have proven that the benefits from engaging in debating are numerous. At ATC, we believe debating helps students to see the power of reasoned arguments and compelling evidence in action. It instills in debaters a great sense of poise and confidence while teaching them the skills of researching, organizing and presenting information in a compelling fashion.

Our teams have been very organised and met every commitment, hence no forfeits and there has been a real sense of improvement for all teams. ATC was the host school for the Year 11 and the Year 8 debating nights as we welcomed debaters from various schools to our campus. Our Year 10.1 team (Sam Carr, Tom Perissinotto, Mitchell Bradshaw, and Lachlan Shanahan) and our Year 9.1 team (Atticus Solomon, Patrick Knott, Sam Jones, Anton Kelly) demonstrated confidence and finesse, making it through to the knockout rounds starting in Term 3. To put this into perspective, there are approximately 300 teams per year level in the Brisbane Secondary region and only 130 teams progress to knockout rounds which start in July and finish with the finals in late August. We are very proud of both teams efforts and commitment to continually improving their skill in debate.

This year our teams have all been coached by ATC staff , Ms Kath Little, Year 10, Ms Kelli Paton, Year 9.1, Mr Damian Westman, Year 9.2, Ms Sonya Logan and Mr David Mapleston, Year 8.1 and Mrs Diana Leonardi , (Year 8.2) and I would like to say how very appreciative I am of the cohesion and support offered towards our debating students. Coaches all agree that the following benefits of debating complement the learning and development of boys.

Benefits of Debating

•Gaining broad, multi-faceted knowledge outside normal academic subjects.
•Increasing boys’ confidence, poise, and self-esteem.
•Improving rigorous higher order and critical thinking skills.
•Enhancing the ability to structure and organize thoughts.
•Enhancing learners’ analytical, research and note-taking kills
•Improving learners’ ability to form balanced, informed arguments and to use reasoning and evidence.
•Encouraging teamwork.

Junior School Debating

We now look to the debating season starting for our younger years; Year 6 on Wednesday 13 June and Year 7 on Wednesday 20 June.This then continues with three more debates for each year level in Term 3. ATC are the host school for both Year 6 and Year 7 debating which is helpful to our students (and hopefully our parents!) and to the QDU who struggle to find venues for the requested number of teams. We are always proud to show off our campus and facilities to visitors. Again this year, about 300 teams are booked for the Year 7 Round Robin series in the Brisbane area which proves the popularity of debating.

And on this historic day of debate in Singapore, I hope our world leaders remember this:

A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger.

Greg Quinn
ATC Debating Coordinator
quinng@atc.qld.edu.au