HASTINGS Public School are the 2018 Premier’s Debating Challenge champions for years five and six after a stunning run of arguments.
They won in a close state final on Sunday, November 18, by affirming the topic schools putting the smartest children in a separate class, against a gallant Summer Hill Public School team.
Equally as impressive was the fact the team – Imogen Lunn, Matilda Stewart, Julian Reed and Charlie Ford – went through the whole competition undefeated.
It was not a short tournament, with preparations beginning in March and several debate match ups along the way, all of which the team won.
This year’s competition broke the record for the number of teams entered in the years five and six age division with 876 entries.
It all started with 3,929 primary students attending one of the day-long debating workshops before taking part in the 1,746 regular round debates and nearly 200 sudden-death finals to eventually determine the champions.
Hastings Public assistant principal and teacher who travelled with the team said he was very proud of their efforts.
“It’s one of my most proudest teaching moments,” he said.
“Their teachers started work with them in March of 2017 when they began debating in year five, so it has been a long road but the hard work has paid off.
“It is a great way for the kids to learn practically. I always spruik debating as the hardest thing a child can do.”
To debate successfully, a student has to be able to read, write, have a broad general knowledge, speak well and clearly, and work well as a team.
“And of course public speaking is a great skill to have,” he said.
Matilda said a video conference debate win nabbed them a spot in the state championships.
“We got through to the knockout final and the win against Brunswick Heads sent us to state,” she said.
“It was so much fun and we learnt loads.”