When it comes to debate and public speaking, students at Balmoral Hall School approach their topics with a thorough understanding of the issues to be considered from the perspective of youth.
This was evident at DisruptED, an information and communications technology (ICT) “unconference” for educators, industry leaders, and students to explore the ways science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms can use new technologies. BH girls impressed those in attendance at “For the Sake of Argument” with their preparation and poise in presenting the following resolutions:
- Be it resolved that all high school students should be required to complete a basic coding course for credit; and
- Be it resolved that all parents should be required to be tech-savvy.
“As a forum of discussion, DisruptED gave my students the opportunity to act as agents of change through lively debate,” said Carissa Balcaen, debate and public speaking teacher at Balmoral Hall.
“I encourage them to exhibit the qualities of critical thinkers and confident presenters by focusing on the development of their speaking, listening, and analytic skills. An experience such as DisruptED is invaluable in terms of hands-on learning.”
Within the debate and public speaking curriculum, students present impromptu or persuasive speeches and interpretive readings. They also research specific resolutions related to the world they live in, preparing arguments to debate those resolutions. The focus of these classes is to provide students with opportunities to develop their communication skills.
Further, students have the option to participate in competitions locally, nationally, and internationally. For example, Manitoba Speech and Debate Association recently hosted the 24th annual Rupert’s Land Debate & Public Speaking Tournament Dec. 4, 2016 at Balmoral Hall School. High school students from a dozen schools participated in impromptu or persuasive speaking events, as well as a two-part series of parliamentary debate.
Teams from St.-John’s Ravenscourt School, Gray Academy, and St. Mary’s Academy, placed first, second, and third, respectively.
Students from all three schools, as well as Fort Richmond Collegiate and Balmoral Hall, will compete at the 2017 National Public Speaking Championships, to be hosted by St.-John’s Ravenscourt in February.
With Gray Academy, Balmoral Hall School will co-host an International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition in October 2017.