PARENTS of high-school debaters in the region will now have some argumentative souls on their hands after two days of workshops.
The annual Regional Flying Squad Camp for years 7 to 10 debaters was hosted for the third consecutive year at Oxley High School on Thursday and yesterday.
Students from Glen Innes, Inverell, Farrer Memorial Agricultural, Tamworth, Duval, Oxley and Peel high schools descended on the venue to learn the finer points of debating. The regional debating final was also held between Oxley and Inverell high schools, with Oxley the victor.
Region debating co-ordinator Melanie Hodges said about 90 students attended the camp, which included three Sydney adjudicators from the Department of Education’s arts unit.
“They’ve learned how to debate, form arguments, rebut and express opinions in the debating kind of manner,” she said.
“We offer it to any students in years 7 to 10 and promote it especially for those in years 9 to 10 because it helps with essay writing and skills with senior school.
“It’s teaching them persuasive techniques and confidence in expressing opinions.
“One thing a lot of kids find intimidating is saying what they think without the fear of being laughed at, and these are good kids who are genuinely interested in learning new skills.”
Ms Hodges said it was interesting to watch the students speak in the safe environment.
“If you’re not used to talking about a topic you have no idea about or don’t agree with, it can be difficult, but that’s when these kids really shine.”