Somerset Times

Debating Captains' Term One Wrap Up

Published

Author

Tags

Somerset Times Edition

Week 10, Term One, 2019

Print this Article

Print Page

There is never a dull moment in the life of a debater… you only have to look at all of the incredible opportunities that have been undertaken over the past seven weeks. Here’s an update on exactly what has been happening this term.

It all kicked off on the first day of the year, when keen debaters were given the opportunity to sign up for the new debating season. This was the start of a new era of Somerset Debating, as not only were the Debating Captains for 2019 introduced, but so was Miss Janie-Marie Burgess, our new Co-ordinator. Having Miss Burgess on board has opened up several new prospects for our debating students this year, most of which extend beyond the realms of the Gold Coast Competition. Model United Nations competitions, UN Youth State Conference, Gold Coast Junior Council, Rostrum Voice of Youth, Queensland Youth Parliament, Mooting, Plain English Speaking Award – all just some of the activities that are on offer. It was incredible to see how interested Somerset debaters, both old and new, are in extending their debating and public speaking abilities. All in all, the sign-up session was a resounding success, with many students coming up to chat about what they are wanting to get out of this year.

The first debating training session of the year was conducted by Montana and Ms Burgess, and worked on introducing our new Year 7 debaters to the ins and outs of the Gold Coast Debating Association Competition. After going around the room learning everybody’s name (we finally got it right at the end of the session), the Year 7s were shown a PowerPoint outlining all of the rules of debating. This session opened discussion about everything from how long they have to speak for and where to sit in the debating room, to ‘how can we really argue that ninjas are better than pirates?’ It was a very fun meeting, and the enthusiasm of our Year 7 debaters was unbelievable. We will definitely have some very fierce teams in debating over the coming years.

While the Year 7s were off on their school camp, the first meeting with all of the teams was conducted. Upon entering the room, it was easy to see the camaraderie that comes about when you participate in an activity such as debating. Experienced debaters were chatting with new debaters, the Open A and Senior B teams were talking with some of the Year 8 and 9 teams, and all around everybody was excited and ready to start. After going through a more condensed version of the PowerPoint shown to the Year 7s, sheets of paper were handed out and the students were asked to write down the teams they wanted to be in throughout the year. Chas ensued as everyone began laughing and bickering about who was in what team, but shortly all the teams were sorted and students happy. They were then introduced to the first debating topics of the year:

  • Junior B: Pirates are better than ninjas
  • Junior A: Public transport should be free
  • Inter B: Public transport should be free
  • Inter A: Privacy is a privilege, not a right
  • Senior B: Privacy is a privilege, not a right
  • Open A: We should ban the sale of human organs

Our debaters meet every Wednesday afternoon for training with their coaches, as they prepare for their first debates at the end of the term (Senior B and Open A debates will take place at the start of Term 2). Good luck to all the teams with their debates and training!

Outside of Gold Coast Debating, our debaters have taken part in some other exciting activities throughout the term. In Week 3, Miss Burgess decided to double her workload with a crazy debating weekend. The Friday night saw three or four teams travelling up to TSS to compete against some of their boys, to gain experience against debaters from different competitions. TSS is part of the GPS (Great Public Schools) debating competition, made up of nine major boys schools from the Gold Coast and Brisbane. The level of debate was fierce, and our students faced much confusion surrounding the variance in rules held between the two different competitors.

We thank all of the Somerset teams who participated, and congratulate them on their wins in such demanding debates! After finishing their own debates, many of the students then went on to watch the Open A debate that was taking place between TSS and St Joseph’s College. The standard presented by these senior students was phenomenal, and everyone who watched it was blown away at the talents of the six debaters. This experience was very beneficial to not only our individual debaters, but Somerset and Gold Coast Debating as a whole. There were many things – from how the GPS debaters prepared their speeches and how they delivered them to how they were structured – that demonstrates the more sophisticated level of debating that we are hoping to introduce into our competition over the coming years.

Bright and early the next morning, Miss Burgess loaded Year 10-12 students into one of the school vans to ferry us up to St Joseph’s College in Brisbane for the Queensland State Debating Trials. This was an opportunity, not really to get into the State team, but to practice our skills working with and against some of the best debaters in Queensland. It was also an opportunity to practice some of the things we had learnt from the GPS debates the night before. It was a new and exciting experience for all those involved, as instead of working with the same team that some had been with for years, Somerset debaters were placed in teams with students from other schools, and some were pitched against each other – Somerset vs. Somerset. It made for some very interesting debating, and demonstrated to debaters of all year levels the level at which they could reach. Massive thanks to Miss Burgess for transporting us around on this crazy weekend of debating, as well as for the numerous fast food runs we did along the way.

One of our captains, Montana, had the incredible opportunity of attending the UN Youth Queensland State Conference on the weekend of Week 4, another activity made possible by Miss Burgess. This conference was a three-day event for students in Years 9 to 12 to integrate themselves fully into the world of the United Nations and international issues. For the duration of the conference, Montana was the delegate representing the country of Romania, and spent the weekend campaigning her member state’s views on issues such as international cybersecurity, peacekeeping, climate change and the trafficking of illegal blood diamonds during numerous model United Nations debates. This is an incredible event and definitely something to look into if you will be in Years 9 to 12 next year.

The final event that took place this term was the Rotary MUNA (Model United Nations Australia) competition that took place at the end of Week 8. Very tired from a busy week of Storyfest, but eager to participate, three teams of Somerset students (both debaters and non-debaters) travelled down to Tweed Community Centre to represent the countries of China, Japan and New Zealand, costumes and decorations in tow. Debating the international issues of migration, trade, and climate change, the nine students were able to fully immerse themselves in the perspectives of the countries that they were representing, as well as the stance of the other member states participating in the competition. Congratulations to all that participated, and another thanks to Miss Burgess, who not only organised the Somerset teams, but officiated the whole event as our brilliant Secretary-General. See the here for the full article.

Like we said, never a dull moment in the world of debating. Congratulations to all of our debaters for their efforts this term, and good luck for the next coming debates. This is going to be a good year for Somerset debating, and we are so excited to share the experience with you all.

Term 1 Debating Update – From Your Debating Captains

There is never a dull moment in the life of a debater… you only have to look at all of the incredible opportunities that have been undertaken over the past seven weeks! Here’s an update on exactly what has been happening this term. It all kicked off on the first day of the year, when keen debaters were given the opportunity to sign up for the new debating season. This was the start of a new era of Somerset Debating, as not only were the Debating Captains for 2019 introduced, but so was Miss Janie-Marie Burgess, our new coordinator. Having Miss Burgess on board has opened up several new prospects for our debating students this year, most of which extend beyond the realms of the Gold Coast Competition. Model United Nations competitions, UN Youth State Conference, Gold Coast Junior Council, Rostrum Voice of Youth, Queensland Youth Parliament, Mooting, Plain English Speaking Award – all just some of the activities that are on offer. It was incredible to see how interested Somerset debaters, both old and new, are in extending their debating and public speaking abilities. All in all, the sign-up session was a resounding success, with many students coming up to chat about what they are wanting to get out of this year. The first debating training session of the year was conducted by Montana and Ms Burgess, and worked on introducing our new Year 7 debaters to the ins and outs of the Gold Coast Debating Association Competition. After going around the room learning everybody’s name (we finally got it right at the end of the session), the Year 7s were shown a PowerPoint outlining all of the rules of debating. This session opened discussion about everything from how long they have to speak for and where to sit in the debating room, to ‘how can we really argue that ninjas are better than pirates?’ It was a very fun meeting, and the enthusiasm of our Year 7 debaters was unbelievable. We will definitely have some very fierce teams in debating over the coming years. While the Year 7s were off on their school camp, the first meeting with all of the teams was conducted. Upon entering the room, it was easy to see the camaraderie that comes about when you participate in an activity such as debating. Experienced debaters were chatting with new debaters, the Open A and Senior B teams were talking with some of the Year 8 and 9 teams, and all around everybody was excited and ready to start. After going through a more condensed version of the PowerPoint shown to the Year 7s, sheets of paper were handed out and the students were asked to write down the teams they wanted to be in throughout the year. Chas ensued as everyone began laughing and bickering about who was in what team, but shortly all the teams were sorted and students happy. They were then introduced to the first debating topics of the year: Junior B: Pirates are better than ninjas Junior A: Public transport should be free Inter B: Public transport should be free Inter A: Privacy is a privilege, not a right Senior B: Privacy is a privilege, not a right Open A: We should ban the sale of human organs Our debaters meet every Wednesday afternoon for training with their coaches, as they prepare for their first debates at the end of the term (Senior B and Open A debates will take place at the start of Term 2). Good luck to all the teams with their debates and training! Outside of Gold Coast Debating, our debaters have taken part in some other exciting activities throughout the term. In Week 3, Miss Burgess decided to double her workload with a crazy debating weekend. The Friday night saw three or four teams travelling up to TSS to compete against some of their boys, to gain experience against debaters from different competitions. TSS is part of the GPS (Great Public Schools) debating competition, made up of nine major boys schools from the Gold Coast and Brisbane. The level of debate was fierce, and our students faced much confusion surrounding the variance in rules held between the two different competitors. We thank all of the Somerset teams who participated, and congratulate them on their wins in such demanding debates! After finishing their own debates, many of the students then went on to watch the Open A debate that was taking place between TSS and St Joseph’s College. The standard presented by these senior students was phenomenal, and everyone who watched it was blown away at the talents of the six debaters. This experience was very beneficial to not only our individual debaters, but Somerset and Gold Coast Debating as a whole. There were many things – from how the GPS debaters prepared their speeches and how they delivered them to how they were structured – that demonstrates the more sophisticated level of debating that we are hoping to introduce into our competition over the coming years.

Bright and early the next morning, Miss Burgess loaded Year 10-12 students into one of the school vans to ferry us up to St Joseph’s College in Brisbane for the Queensland State Debating Trials. This was an opportunity, not really to get into the State team, but to practice our skills working with and against some of the best debaters in Queensland. It was also an opportunity to practice some of the things we had learnt from the GPS debates the night before. It was a new and exciting experience for all those involved, as instead of working with the same team that some had been with for years, Somerset debaters were placed in teams with students from other schools, and some were pitched against each other – Somerset vs. Somerset. It made for some very interesting debating, and demonstrated to debaters of all year levels the level at which they could reach. Massive thanks to Miss Burgess for transporting us around on this crazy weekend of debating, as well as for the numerous Maccas runs we did along the way. One of our captains, Montana, had the incredible opportunity of attending the UN Youth Queensland State Conference on the weekend of Week 4, another activity made possible by Miss Burgess. This conference was a three-day event for students in Years 9-12 to integrate themselves fully into the world of the United Nations and international issues. For the duration of the conference, Montana was the delegate representing the country of Romania, and spent the weekend campaigning her member state’s views on issues such as international cybersecurity, peacekeeping, climate change and the trafficking of illegal blood diamonds during numerous model United Nations debates. This is an incredible event and definitely something to look into if you will be in Years 9-12 next year. The final event that took place this term was the Rotary MUNA (Model United Nations Australia) competition that took place at the end of Week 8. Very tired from a busy week of Storyfest, but eager to participate, three teams of Somerset students (both debaters and non-debaters) travelled down to Tweed Community Centre to represent the countries of China, Japan and New Zealand, costumes and decorations in tow. Debating the international issues of migration, trade, and climate change, the nine students were able to fully immerse themselves in the perspectives of the countries that they were representing, as well as the stance of the other member states participating in the competition. Congratulations to all that participated, and another thanks to Miss Burgess, who not only organised the Somerset teams, but officiated the whole event as our brilliant Secretary-General. See the link for a full article about the day: https://www.somerset.qld.edu.au/news/college/rotary-model-united-nations-assembly/ Like we said, never a dull moment in the world of debating. Congratulations to all of our debaters for their efforts this term, and good luck for the next coming debates. This is going to be a good year for Somerset debating, and we are so excited to share the experience with you all.

« Back to Index