Debating begins in SNC!

You may have heard the buzz during term 2 – debating has resurfaced in Su Nei Cieli!

As you may know, for the past 3 years Debating has become an integral part of the 4/5/6 program at BEPS. It is easy to see how such an important skill connects to many aspects of the Victorian Curriculum, such as writing, speaking and listening, critical and creative thinking and the ethical capabilities.

This term the ‘Steinem’ workshop (named after Gloria Steinem) began officially debating in earnest. After workshops involving how to prepare, draft, publish, and rehearse,  students were then given randomised teams and topics to prepare for. Topics included:

‘That We Should Ban Cars In The City’

‘That Television Is A Waste Of Time’

‘That NAPLAN helps you learn’

‘That We Should Ban Homework For Primary School Students’

‘That We Should Stop Selling Bottled Water’


Students are marked according to the rubric below and are given feedback on the three areas (matter, method and manner):

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After brainstorming arguments and planning who will develop which argument in their groups, students are then able to work on their speeches during ILT, writing time and also for homework. (It was great to hear during 3 Way Conferences that most students were rehearsing their speeches at home!)





In terms 3 and 4, this will continue with more students in SNC learning ‘the art of arguing’. There will also be our annual 4/5/6 Inter-LC debates (with Orizzonte and Il Nido) and also an excursion for a ‘regional debating day’ with the Debaters Association of Victoria. BEPS are also hosting schools in September for another opportunity for our lucky students to participate – stay tuned for more!


Our students are also expected to take on feedback so they know what they are doing well and what they can work on for next time. They recently reflected on their first debates:

“I think I did well on ‘Presented clear and logical arguments that were easy for the audience to understand’ (Matter), ‘Understood their role and performed it properly’ (Method) and ‘made good eye contact with the audience’ (Manner).
What I think I could work on is ‘Used language that was persuasive ‘(Matter), ‘Spoke between 3 & 4 mins and began and concluded their speech with flair'” 

“On my first debate I was a little worried and thought I would completely stuff up, but it turned out okay in the end. I would like to do another debate because I think I would be better”

“Next time I will listen to the debate very intently so I can rebut really good –  and get a better score as speaker three”

“I think that I gave justifications for my arguments, understood my role of second speaker and played it well, I also think I made good eye with the audience.
Some things I could work on are using language which is persuasive, speaking between 3-4 minutes, as well as not fidgeting!”

“I’d like to change the way I spoke to the audience and I would like to build up my confidence. Also I mumbled a bit and my rebut needed a “because” to support it. But I felt really organised and was looking forward to it”


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