Barham wins chal­lenge

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - News -

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.

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