Northcote High School places great importance in developing students’ oral skills and public speaking and debating are important co-curricular activities that prove popular.
At Northcote High School we organise a Year 6 public speaking competition for feeder primary schools as part of the transition program into Year 7. This event also allows boys and girls in Year 6 to demonstrate their skills on the big stage in front of an audience comprised of invited guests, parents and teachers. This is a truly local community event for local state schools celebrating the achievements of their Year 6 students.
Debating helps students develop skills in the areas of research, developing a sustained argument, presenting a point of view and rebuttal. Rebuttal is, of course, the hardest skill to learn as students need to be less reliant on prepared notes and more prepared to listen to the opposing team’s arguments in order to challenge them. Debating is an out-of-school activity that exposes students to the wider community and enables students to demonstrate their commitment to the school and, just as importantly, to the team. Debates can only be won if members work together, therefore students learn both individual skills and how to work cooperatively.
Northcote High School has a number of teams from Year 9 to Year 12 participating in the Debater’s Association of Victoria (DAV) competition. There are five debates held each year between March and July. Northcote High School also participates in an annual debating competition organised and generously supported by the Lions Club Northcote branch. This competition has been running for a number of years now and involves several local secondary schools in both the state and private systems. Students from Years 7 and 8 also have the opportunity to learn some basic debating skills at a series of workshops run by the DAV.