Reasoning, research and public speaking skills are just some of the positives behind deciding to join a debating team at Ivanhoe Grammar School. From planning your argument (even if you don’t agree with it) to choosing your words wisely, debating will help you take on whatever life chooses to throw at you.

Debating is not the same as entering into a full-on argument, in fact, you will need to develop a succinct, effective argument, which will gain you support from the adjudicator, rather than just attacking your opponent.

From Cicero to Churchill, history’s great debaters have helped shape the world we live in and resolve many of society’s issues. Here are 15 ways that debating can help you in your life for years to come and also consideration of how debating can help you to develop the attributes of the Ivanhoe Learner.

Debating is a program which is academically rigorous and Ivanhoe Grammar School prides itself on being competitive within the region.

Middle Years Debating Program (Years 7-8)

Students in Year 7 and 8 at The Ridgeway Campus can participate in Debating. Organised and assisted by teaching staff, students form small groups and are mentored by Senior students who are experienced, current debaters. The Debaters Association of Victoria, a non-for profit organisation, organises the participating schools into regions, defines the topics and provides the adjudicators to watch and critique the debates.

The Ridgeway Campus hosts this competition in the Middle Years Building, while Plenty students compete against their region at debates hosted by Parade College, Bundoora. Parents are welcome to attend to watch their child debate. We recommend students start debating in Year 7 to gain the foundations of forming an argument and working collaboratively.

University Campus Debating (Year 9)

Students at the University Campus can continue or commence their involvement in debating. Once again students are assisted by staff and alumni debating coaches. Debating tends to be popular at this level and it provides students an opportunity to work with people from both campuses resulting in broadening friendships.

Senior Debating Program (10-12)

By Senior Years, the majority of students have been involved in debating for a number of years; however, students are welcome to join at any time. Students are assisted by key staff and alumni debating coaches. At The Ridgeway Campus, students participate in the Ivanhoe region, which is hosted by Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School and Plenty students participate in the Watsonia region, hosted by Loyola college.

By this stage, debating becomes a bigger commitment, involving five debates and some of these are secret topics which require students to think on their feet and work collaboratively to prepare their arguments.  From Year 9 onwards, it also becomes more competitive with teams with the highest points eligible to continue onto finals. Finals involves debating against students from teams all across the state in late August until a team has been knocked out or goes on to win the Grand Final.

Greenway Cup

The Greenway Cup is an important tradition between The Ridgeway Campus and Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School and an opportunity for both school to showcase academic talent to the community. Each year, we alternate which school hosts the competition. Students in Year 12 or students involved in debating are invited to attend the event and support our students debating.

After a brief hiatus, 2018 saw the return of this debating competition between Ivanhoe Grammar School and Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School. First contested in 1932, the perpetual cup has been won 41 times by Ivanhoe Girls’ and 42 times by Ivanhoe Grammar School. The competition sees two teams, one from each school, three students from Year 12 debate a secret topic that will be revealed just two hours before they take the stage.