HVGS has achieved successful progression to inter-regional finals in Middle, Senior and Open Divisions in recent years with the 2008 Senior team going all the way and winning the Chapman Cup HICES State Final at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney against Illawarra Grammar School. Students at HVGS have the opportunity to be involved in Debating as a co-curricular activity at a number of levels. The School enters the Chapman Cup HICES Debating Competition each year (beginning around the end of Term 1 and running throughout Terms 2 & 3) in Junior, Middle, Senior and Open divisions (Years 5-12).
The ability to speak confidentially and debate in public are skills to be encouraged.
These are useful talents required throughout life in many different situations. Debating skills are also valuable during oral assessments in the HSC, and provide practise in thinking rapidly and arranging arguments in a coherent fashion; tools which are helpful for essay writing.
This particular competition enables students within a team to gain experience and build on adjudication feedback from previous rounds, and to develop skills in specific roles and vie for qualification to the Inter-regional rounds and the HICES State Final. Students are required to deliver prepared debates in Junior and Middle Divisions, whilst Seniors and Opens must prepare debates on impromptu topics with one hour unaided preparation time available.
Teams meet regularly during lunch or recess to build cases and refine delivery styles when preparing for debates.
In addition, each year an HRIS Gala Day is held to provide the opportunity for a broader range of students in Years 5-8 to be involved in a full day of round-robin debates on prepared topics against other schools.
This serves as a good entry for younger debaters to gain some experience and valuable feedback in a friendly competition.
Mr Nick Joliffe