Barham wins challenge
Barham Public School’s blue team has been declared the winner of the local region’s 2020 Premier’s Debating Challenge after winning all three of its debates.
The team now goes on to compete in the zone championships, the winner of which will contest the state debating challenge.
Barham had two teams in the local competition, and competed against teams from Deniliquin South School, Deniliquin North Public School and two from Mathoura Public School.
Each team participated in three debates via video conference.
The two Deniliquin schools were hot on Barham’s heels, with two wins each.
North School debating coordinator Megan Hunter said her students not only performed well, but took a lot away from the experience.
The team was made up of Year 6 students Samara Watson, Eliza Johnstone and Emma Campton, and Year 5 students Fletcher Campion and Indie Moses.
‘‘You talk to adults and a lot of them fear public speaking which is why debating is such a great thing for students to be involved in,’’ Mrs Hunter said.
‘‘They learn to talk to an audience in a formal setting, to think on their feet, it develops their confidence and much more. Students will use these skills throughout and even later in life.
‘‘I think debating is fantastic for children and I would encourage them and more schools to get involved.’’
North Public School has in the past qualified for state and even the state championships, proving regional students are just as good as city students.
‘‘A lot of people think of rural and regional students as being disadvantaged, but we hold our own especially when it comes to state and state championships,’’ Mrs Hunter said.
‘‘We are all on a pretty even playing field, so it is great to have debating in the Riverina.
‘‘It would be great to see some of the smaller schools get on board.’’
South School debating coordinator Megan Baker said the team — consisting of Year 6 students Ava Richards, Max Ferguson, Keely Hussey and Saskia Malin — were successful in two debates because of the passion they showed for the topics.
‘‘As a school, we are extremely proud of the dedication, confidence and hard work that our students have put in,’’ Miss Baker said.
‘‘In our third round debate our team scored a win as the negative team on the topic of ‘we should ban all unhealthy food at school’.
‘‘Our students were extremely impressive and articulated their arguments to a high standard.
‘‘The competition has given students the opportunity to further improve their public speaking, team work and communication skills, while moving out of their comfort zones to try a new challenge.’’
■ Barham Public School’s blue team (from left) Remi, Ella, Ebony, Kynan and Dan. Surnames withheld due to school policy.