Debating and Public Speaking
Year 5 to Year 12
At MLC School we believe the ability to speak confidently and eloquently in front of an audience is a core skill that will prepare our students for life.
For 2022 we offer students the opportunity to participate in competitive debating, public speaking competitions and debating/public speaking weekly classes. Students in Year 5 to Year 12 are eligible to participate in our co-curricular programs. Coaching is provided by experienced debaters and public speakers and our students have achieved great success in both areas. Debating develops students’ confidence, respect for others, sense of timing, structure and teamwork. The ability to present a persuasive argument and knowledge of current affairs topics are also key skills developed by participation in debating and public speaking.
MLC School participates in three debating competitions the Independent Schools Debating Association (ISDA) competition (Year 6 to Year 12), the Friday Evening Debating (FED) competition (Year 7 to Year 12) and the Archdale Shield (Year 7 to Year 12), competing against other boys’ and girls’ schools across Sydney. Students selected for the competition teams participate in weekly debates and training sessions with experienced and successful debating coaches.
Students who aren’t selected are invited to join the Oratory Class in Public Speaking and Debating (see details below), which provides an opportunity to receive small group coaching and a greater chance of success at future trials.
Junior School debaters compete in IPSHA interschool competitions that take place during school hours on Friday afternoons. Teams involve girls from Year 5 and Year 6. Debating squads run one morning per week to train students and prepare them to compete in the IPSHA debating competitions. Girls are assisted in their training and preparation by teachers and senior debaters.
Trials for the ISDA and FED competitions take place in Week 8 of Term 4 2021 for Year 8 to Year 12, and Week 2 of Term 1 2022 for Year 6 and Year 7, and are open to all interested students. Trials for the Archdale Shield competition take place at the start of Term 2 2022 and are open to all students who have participated in debating activities during Term 1 2022. The trials are convened by our Debating Coordinator with support from our team coaches.
Our Debating teams have experienced outstanding success over the past few years. Debating is one of the few activities in which both boys and girls can compete together and against one another on a level playing field. MLC School teams participate in competitions with over 40 different schools in the Sydney region throughout the year.
- 2018: The 7A, 7B and 8A teams competed in the Semi Finals with 7B progressing to the Grand Finals.
- 2019: Seven teams progressed to the quarter finals and the 8A, 8B and Year 9 teams competed in the Semi Finals with the 8B team progressing to the Grand Finals.
- 2020: Competition abandoned at Round 5
- 2021: Six teams progressed to the Quarter Finals. Year 8B, Year 9 and Senior B teams competed in the Semi Finals. The Year 8B team won the Grand Final.
- 2018: All eight teams progressed to the Finals series, with six teams competing in the Quarter Finals. Our Year 10 and Senior B teams competed in the Grand Final with the Seniors winning their Division. The performance by the whole team resulted in MLC School being ranked No.1 for 2018.
- 2019: Seven teams went through to the Finals series and six teams competed in the Quarter Finals. The Primary A and B and Senior B teams were in the Semi Finals. The Primary A and Senior B teams competed in the Grand Final and won their divisions. MLC School was ranked number two out of 32 schools for 2019.
- 2020: Competition abandoned after Round 4
- 2021: Seven teams made it to the finals series, with four teams competing in the Quarter Finals. The Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 teams competed in the Semi Finals. Year 8 and Year 9 were in the Grand Finals and the Year 8 team were the champions, winning the Grand Final.
- 2017: Six teams made it to the finals series with our 7B, Year 9 and Senior teams competing in the Grand Final. The Seniors and 7B both won their division. MLC School also won the overall Archdale Shield for being the Number 1 ranked debating school out of 22 girls schools.
- 2018: Six teams qualified for the Finals with four teams competing in the Semi Finals. Our 7B and Year 9 team won their division at the Archdale Grand Final.
- 2019: Four teams qualified for the Quarter finals, 7B, 8A ,Year 10 and Seniors. Our Year 10 students progressed to the Semi Finals and finished at the top of their division after being undefeated in the seven preliminary rounds.
- 2020: Competition continued in a virtual format. Five teams qualified for the quarter finals. 8A and Year 10 competed in the semi finals. The Year 10 team won their division in the grand final.
Many MLC School students participate in debating over several years and in 2022 there will be opportunities for Senior students to help coach and mentor younger students new to debating. With the assistance of the Debating Coordinator and coaching staff, Senior students interested in improving their leadership skills can do so by sharing their debating experience with junior teams.
The MLC School Debating Program strives for excellence and expects a high level of commitment from its debaters. Students in competitive teams are expected to attend all scheduled training sessions and must inform their coach in advance of any absences. Only four team members take part in each debate, and team members rotate (under the direction of their coach) to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak. However, all team members are expected to attend home debates in order to support their fellow debaters and provide assistance to the Debating Coordinator and coaches.
During preliminary rounds where the debate venue is more easily reached by train, students will travel by public transport, under staff supervision for the Middle Years. For schools not close to public transport a bus will be provided to transport students to away debate venues, supervised by our Debating Coordinators or a member of staff.
In the finals rounds, participating teams are usually expected to make their own way to the debate venue (unless there are a large number of teams participating, in which case a bus will be provided).
In all cases, parents/carers are expected to collect their daughter from the debate venue promptly after the debate is finished (they are also very welcome to arrive early to watch the debate).
In 2022 Debating will be a pay per term co-curricular activity at MLC School. Students who trial for a competition team and are selected for FED or ISDA will receive a link for their parents to register and pay online for Term 1 debating. Term 2 and Term 3 fees will be automatically added to term fees. The cost for competition debating is $275 per term. This includes the student’s competition fees, personal and small group coaching and participation in weekly debates. Each team of five students receives coaching for 1.5– 2 hours every Wednesday plus coaching before each competitive debate. Their coach attends every debate and provides feedback to each student afterwards. Debating is a nine-week activity for Term 1 and Term 2.
Students who trial and are successful in selection for the Archdale competition will start halfway through Term 2 (when students will still be doing either FED or ISDA). Term 3 payments will be for the Archdale competition ($275) and will be a nine-week activity.
During Term 4, MLC School will run an internal Debating tournament in the British Parliamentary style where students register to compete in pairs against teams from other Year groups. The cost for this activity will be $150 for a nine-week term.
Debating and Public Speaking Programs
Training for Middle Years teams occurs Wednesday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm and Tuesday evenings before the debate. The Senior Teams train Wednesday 4.30pm to 6.30pm and Tuesday evenings before the debate.
|Week 2||Trials for Archdale|
|Week 4||Archdale competition begins|
|Week 8||Archdale Grand Final|
Coordinator: Andrea Rowe
Cost: Competition debating is a pay by term activity in 2022, the Archdale competitions costs $275 per term and covers Term 3.
Enrolment: Students who have participated in either FED or ISDA in 2022 can register to trial for a place in Archdale teams, Trials for Year 7 to Year 12 take place in Term 2 Week 2 2022. Students and parents will be notified by email if their daughter has been successful in the trials.
Debates are held Friday evenings from 3.30pm to 9pm at MLC School and various other competing boys’ and girls’ schools.
Training for Middle Years teams occurs Wednesday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm and Friday evenings before the debate. The Senior Teams train Wednesday 4.30pm to 6.30pm and Friday evenings before the debate.
|Week 2||Trials for FED and ISDA competition teams
(Year 6 to Year 7)
|Week 3||Training begins|
|Week 4||ISDA and FED competitions begin|
|Week 5||FED Grand Final|
|Week 8||ISDA Grand Final|
|Week 7||Trials for FED and ISDA (Year 8 to Year 12)|
Coordinator: Andrea Rowe
Cost: Competition debating is a pay by term activity in 2022, the FED and ISDA competitions cost $275 per term and cover all of Term 1 and Term 2.
Enrolment: Students register to trial for a place in a competition team, Trials for Year 8 to Year 12 take place in Term 4 Week 8 2021 and for Year 6 to Year 7 in Term 1 Week 3 2022. Students and parents will be notified by email if their daughter has been successful in the trials.
The IPSHA debating competition is a fantastic introduction to competitive debating for younger students. The competition follows a home and away structure, and two teams will compete each week, one taking the affirmative and one the negative.
The competition uses a prepared format. Students will meet with a teacher during a lunchtime to talk about the debate topic and allocate roles; however, students prepare the main elements of their speeches at home in preparation for the debate.
At the end of the year, selected debaters will be chosen to participate in a IPSHA debating Gala day. This is a fun day of debating and learning from others.
Coordinator: Jan Falls
Debates: Term 2 and Term 3 fortnightly debates
Training: Weekly meeting during Term 2 and Term 3 (day and time mutually agreed between students and coach)
Enrolment: Students complete an Expression of Interest form during Term 1 and are then invited to attend trials. Students will be selected by the coach. Please note: Priority will be given to Year 6 students who are not taking part in the Senior School ISDA debating competition.
In 2022 MLC School will run a program for Public Speaking with the intention of better integrating with our existing Debating program. Junior Oratory Class (Year 5 to Year 8) will run weekly on Thursday afternoons from 3.30pm–4.30pm and a Senior Oratory Class (Year 9 to Year 12) will also run weekly on Thursday from 4.30pm–6pm (subject to enrolment numbers).
These classes are open students in Year 5 to Year 12 who are interested in improving their public speaking and/or debating skills, including those who did not make a competition debating team. The classes will be divided into small groups (less than 10 students) and coaches will be experienced public speakers and debaters. The emphasis will be on training students in public speaking in all its forms. Students will later be selected from this group to compete in public speaking competitions throughout the year such as Rostrum, Plain English and the Festival of Speech.
Students will have the opportunity to practise their speaking and speech writing skills in a supportive environment where all skill levels will be catered for. This includes students who aim to improve their ability to speak in front of a school class, those who would like to compete in front of a larger audience and aspiring debaters who want to try and make a competition team.
Coordinator: Andrea Rowe
Places available: Open to all interested students
Time: Year 5 to Year 8: Thursday 3.30pm–4.30pm
Year 9 to Year 12: Thursday 4.30pm–6pm
Location: Contact the coordinator
Cost: This is a pay per term co-curricular activity which will run for nine weeks each in Term 1, Term 2 and Term 3. Parents will be able to register online for students to join the class at a cost of $200 per term.
Enrolment: Enrol via the MLC School Payments Site