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The Stanley win House Debating

10 December 2018
The Upper Prep House Debating Competition was once again a platform for some very impressive arguments and public speaking. After the initial round dispensed with the Hopetoun, Combermere and Lynedoch teams.  The stage was set for The Wellesley and The Stanley to contest the motion that ‘War is inevitable’. The final was something of a battle itself, with both teams pulling no punches as they aimed to secure the trophy. After a series of thought-provoking contentions from both sides under the theatre spotlights, the tough decision fell to the judges to deliberate and choose a winner. After some brief but constructive feedback from Judges Dooley and Hambling, the job fell to victorious team captain from last year, Selena, to get the customary drum-roll going before announcing the winner to be The Stanley! Well done to all involved in this year’s competition, the standard continues to both improve and impress each and every year. A few words now from the winners of the 2018 Upper Prep House Debating Championship, Ruby, Mia and Ieva:   Mia During a debate competition, two sides debate a topic or motion. There are different styles of debate but we used the Australasia style which is 3vs3 people. The speakers on each side go in order of the speaker and deliver their argument. When you are given a motion, you have to define it first and then carry out some research on it. Then you have to think of contentions and elaborate on them. Finally, you have to write out your speech and think about some potential rebuttals. The judges decide which side wins by looking at the points/contentions again and seeing which team convinced them of their stance regarding the motion. In our opinion, debate is great, because pupils can develop different skills and come out of their shells. Debate helped us address bigger audiences and speak more clearly and hold our ground intellectually. Debate can help you to become better at improvisation as it makes your brain faster.   Ieva I joined the debate team because it’s an activity I love. It all started in my old school’s debate CCA, where I always loved talking to different people and audiences. I was especially happy to be there and realised I liked debate more than I knew. I joined the team to continue doing something I liked and am happy with what our team achieved. Big thanks to Mrs Doamekpor, our coach Arthur who supported us a lot and of course my amazing team mates Mia and Ruby, who were as committed to doing this as I was. I was confident that we had a chance but when I got on that stage in the finals I was petrified. Even though I had practiced my speech plenty of times already, I was still nervous. My legs shook, my face turned red and hot and my hands trembled as I held the microphone to my mouth and said my speech. We discovered that even if you know what you’re doing, it’s never going to be perfect. So, we just must try the best we can. When given a debate motion, I usually first advise any debater to think about the various points that you can make before writing the speech, otherwise you won’t know what to write about. Think of loads of different points you’d like to make and then choose the top ones (the number will depend on the amount of time you’re allowed for your speech). As a new pupil at Wellington, I was welcomed and treated as if I had already done plenty of house competitions and had been at Wellington for a long time.   Ruby I wanted to do House Debating because my friends said I should do it and I wanted to try something new. I have never debated before and I wanted to do it to see if I liked it. I very much enjoyed House Debating because it gave me a chance to work with other people, Mia, Ieva and Arthur, and to show people how much I care about The Stanley. The competition pushed me very far out of my comfort zone, but that’s what I wanted it to do. I felt a bit nervous, yet confident at the same time. I was proud that I actually stood up to do it because if it wasn’t for my friends and team mates, I doubt I would have managed to finish!