Somerset College has a rich history in Debating, Mooting and Public Speaking. Throughout the school year there are many opportunities for students to be involved in, particularly from Years 4 to 12.
Somerset enters debating teams from each Year Level into the Gold Coast Debating Association competition. Each team has a coach who helps students with method and presentation and discusses ideas. It is not necessary to have had experience to be interested in a position on a team. Students are expected to spend time on discussion of their case and preparation of their material. This is usually done in school lunch hours and sometimes after school.
Somerset College has a strong history in mooting and provides several opportunities for all students wanting to develop their advocacy skills. All students in Years 11 and 12 can learn how to present a legal argument in a courtroom situation by participating in the Intra School Moot Competition held in February each year. From this competition, students can earn the right to represent the College in the Gold Coast regional judging of the Bond University High School Mooting Competition. This is a prestigious competition open to high school students from all over Australia. Several of our teams have represented the region in the Finals. Year 11 Legal Studies students can also be involved in the Quinn and Scattini Moot Competition held in July of each year. This comprises a cross-examination and summing up before a judge in a criminal matter and participants present in a courtroom at the Beenleigh District Court.
Every year the College is offered places in local, State and National competitions which have a strong public speaking component; including the Lions Youth of the Year Competition and the AB Paterson Public Speaking Competition. These activities are valuable learning experiences and most certainly develop competency in communication and logical thought.
Many of these competitions also require students to have a considerable knowledge of and interest in current affairs and to be able to demonstrate their involvement in a wide range of school and community activities. Competitions may include an interview with a judging panel and students are often required to present both prepared and impromptu speeches. Winners of these competitions can proceed through local, regional, State and National levels.
The overall co-ordination of these competitions is conducted by the Debating/Public Speaking Co-ordinator and includes the organisation and allocation of places in various heats. Other staff assist, and will advise details of upcoming competitions, closing dates for entries and distribution of entry forms in the Daily Bulletin and the College newsletter, Somerset Times. Students who are interested should contact the Debating/Public Speaking Co-ordinator to ensure they are registered as entrants as early in the year as possible.
The Gold Coast Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Speech Contest gives students the opportunity to speak a language other than English in a competitive environment. There are divisions for Junior and Senior School students in a vast array of chosen languages.