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Northcote High School places great importance to developing oral skills in students. Public speaking and debating are important co-curricular activities enjoyed by many students. Interested students should contact their Year Level Program Coordinator or Mr Martin Ramsay.
(Shown at right, the highly successful Senior Debating team of 2011: Luke Corcoran, Ruby Bell and Charles Cornwallis )
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 truly is a local community event for local state schools celebrating the achievements of our students in Year 6.
Northcote High School has a number of teams from Year 9 to Year 12 participating in the Debater’s Association of Victoria (D.A.V) 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, have the opportunity to learn some basic debating skills at a series of workshops run by the D.A.V. in semester two.
Debating is a great activity for students because they 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 also an out of school activity that takes students out into the wider community. It enables students to demonstrate their commitment to the school and, just as importantly, to the team. Ultimately, debating is a team competition and debates can only be won if members work together. In this way students learn not only learn individual skills but also the need to work together.