Students at Southern River College will have to prepare a solid case if they wish to progress further in the finals of the West Australian Debating League.
The year 10 debating team will go up against the best of the best later this month including teams from Perth Modern, Scotch College, Christ Church Grammar, Guildford Grammar, All Saints College and Willetton Senior High.
Debating coordinator and lead humanities and social sciences teacher Sasha Lytas said the students would need to discuss and find strong solutions to different issues when they compete against Mount Lawley High at Shenton College on July 31.
“This year students have discussed topics such as whether religious schools should receive government funding, whether indigenous people should be punished by their own community and whether refugees should receive welfare benefits,” she said.
“The students have gained skills in researching, writing and public speaking and have learnt a lot about topics which they didn’t know about previously.”
Ms Lytas said it was a big achievement to reach the finals given that the school had only been involved in the league for the past three years.
“Most of the other schools competing have long established debating programs and many years of experience,” she said.
“Hundreds of teams enter the competition so it is exciting to be placed in the top 32.”
Year 10 student Katarina French said she was proud of the team’s achievements so far and was looking forward to competing in the finals.
“Debating has improved my writing skills and my ability to construct persuasive arguments,” she said.
“It has also really improved my confidence for public speaking and other programs that I am involved with such as the music program.”