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NBSC Balgowlah Boys Campus

NBSC Balgowlah Boys Campus

The Boys Campus of the Northern Beaches Secondary College

Telephone02 9949 4200





Balgowlah Boys has a strong a tradition of Debating; we have had teams in the Premier's Debating challenge for at least the last 9 years. We also have the ‘Great Debate' each year in front of the whole school assembly by boys from Year 10. As the Debating Coordinating I have spent a lot of time encouraging boys to get involved in inter-school and intra-school debating as it hones not only analytical skills but creates confidence and self-esteem.

When boys display an interest in debating they seldom understand its format and structure but they do have one essential character trait necessary to debating, courage. Standing in front of a room full of people and argue your point suggest, resilience, fortitude and resolve.

What actually is debating? A Debate is a formal contest of argumentation between two teams or individuals. More broadly, and more importantly, debate is an essential tool for developing and maintaining democracy and open societies. More than a mere verbal or performance skill, debate embodies the ideals of reasoned argument, tolerance for divergent points of view and rigorous self-examination. Debate is, above all, a way for those who hold opposing views to discuss controversial issues without descending to insult, emotional appeals or personal bias. A key trademark of debate is that it rarely ends in agreement, but rather allows for a robust analysis of the question at hand. Perhaps this is what French philosopher Joseph Joubert meant when he said: "It is better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it."

This year Balgowlah Boys has two teams participating in the Premier's Debating Challenge. We have a Year 7-8 team consisting of; Jeremy Smith, Julian McKay, Max Moon and David Singleton. Next week they will have their first debate against McKellar Girls. This will be a challenging assignment; the topic being, Education. Last year as the Year 7 team they successfully made it to the Quarter Finals, so we are hoping for great things this year. Our Year 10 team consisting of; Tristan Godoy, Daniel Buller, Chaiwat Maksakul and Jarrod Hyles have consistently performed well since coming together in Year 7. This year that came up against strong competition in Marsden High and Ku-Ring-Gai Creative Arts High School and did Bally proud.

Ultimately Debating is not a forum for asserting absolute truths, but rather a means of making and evaluating arguments that allows debaters to better understand their own and others' positions. This sense of a shared journey toward the truth brings debaters closer together, even when they represent opposing sides of an issue or come from vastly differentcultures or social classes. In so doing, debate fosters both the essential democratic values of free and open discussion along with higher order thinking and analytical skills.


Mr Bernard Roberts

Debating Coordinator