IN A SHOCKING turn of events, New England students have argued in favour of teachers and parents making them do homework.
And, for the first time in more than 20 years they’ve won the Premier’s Primary Debating Challenge.
Made up of kids from Timbumburi, Nemingha, Ben Venue and Tamworth Public Schools, the team was up against reigning champions from Northern Sydney, debate coach Lesley Lamb said.
“All the schools in the region sent two students to trial for the New England team, these four were selected and they only had one training day where they got together and talked strategy,” she said.
“But they had never debated with each other before they got to the competition.”
The grand final topic was ‘we should ban parents and teachers from making primary school kids do homework or study outside of school hours’, and the New England team argued homework better prepares them for 21st Century jobs.
In one hour, the students prepared their arguments and each speaker had just five minutes to make their case and rebut the opposition’s arguments.
The competition runs over three days, and the New England team won six out of seven debates.
“They were excited, a little bit nervous and getting really tired because it is a lot of time,” Ms Lamb said.
“These are the most beautiful country kids and they’re just so charming, people like them because they have no sense of arrogance and they’re very humble.
“This is a big adventure for them.”
It was 1997 when New England last took out the coveted blue ribbon.