Education Matters

Student story: The joys and benefits of debating

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Jun 27, 2018, 1:00:00 PM

Student story: The joys and benefits of debatingBy Imran Parker, Preparatory School Debating Captain 2018 (Year 6)

At Trinity Grammar School, we have many opportunities to participate in debating; students can join three different debating competitions - ISDA, IPSHA and House debating.

Recently, the IPSHA Debating Team participated in an engaging debate against St Euphemia College. The topic was ‘School uniforms should be banned.’ As you can imagine, the topic was hotly contested and the debate was action-packed! The arguments ranged from cost efficiency to weather preparation, with convincing rebuttals such as social inclusion and the facilitation of learning. Both debates were closely contested with Team A experiencing a loss by a narrow margin, while Team B emerged as the winners of their debate. To date, we have had a really enjoyable start to the IPSHA season, with many opportunities to develop our debating and teamwork skills.

ISDA debating teams are selected by the debating coach. We train once a week with our coach, which gives us valuable time to develop our skills. The debate is held every week on Friday afternoons in Terms 1 and 2. We are provided with a topic and have one hour of preparation time, then we debate against another school. It is great for developing our critical thinking skills and working under time pressure!

IPSHA debating teams are selected by the coach based on an audition. There are 10 team members selected from Year 6. IPSHA provides the topic two weeks in advance, which allows us more time to prepare our speeches, however, we still need to think on our feet when coming up with compelling rebuttals. Every fortnight on Friday we debate against another school.

House debating is another fantastic opportunity to participate in debating and you also accumulate house points! All boys from Years 5 and 6 are encouraged to join in. The preparation is the same as IPSHA, however, we debate against another house in our School. Ultimately one house is declared the winner of the debating competition. 

The joys and benefits of debating are many. I started debating in Year 5 as I wanted to try a new co-curricular activity. Initially I was quite nervous, but I really enjoyed the challenge and very quickly found myself excited about all my upcoming debates. After that first exposure I wanted to follow through with further developing my skills and was fortunate to be selected for the ISDA and IPSHA teams in Year 6.

Debating has been both joyful and at times, stressful! It is a great balance as the stressful moments help motivate you and drive you to develop your skills further each time. It is a great feeling once you are standing up and are about to speak – all your nerves are washed away and you are prepared to debate your opponents. It is a great skill to be able to debate both sides of an interesting topic and debating really encourages you to keep up-to-date with current events on both a local and global scale. It is really important to be respectful of our opponents, the adjudicator and audience. Ultimately, whether we win or concede, we walk away with a valuable experience and new skills.

Debating is a wonderful co-curricular activity to join, as it develops our critical thinking skills and provides opportunities for us to work as a team. I have also found debating very useful in promoting my writing skills and time management. Debating has been a terrific experience and I can’t wait for more wonderful moments in debating this year.


For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning.

At Trinity, we believe that co-curricular activities are vital in supporting your son’s academic education and allowing him to pursue his passions, realise his potential and discover his life’s purpose. If you would like to learn more about the Trinity difference and our full range of co-curricular activities, download our Co-Curricular ebook.

Trinity's Co-curricular booklet download

Topics: Literacy, Co-curricular activities, Boys and literacy, Students