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First in Archdale Debating competition

Ashley Shu, Yiru Li, Isabella Jiang and Annie Li

Meriden’s Year 7 students have won their Archdale Debating Grand Final. Throughout the seven-round competition, the girls demonstrated rhetorical flair, providing sound arguments about complex topics whilst speaking confidently and convincingly.

Isabella Jiang, Annie Li, Yiru Li and Ashley Shu made up the debating dream team. In the Grand Final, the girls were tasked with the negative side of the debate topic, “The Head of Police of each district should be voted in by their local area”.

To prepare for the competition, students were taken through rigorous training according to the competition’s mandatory topics and practised aptly substantiating arguments with reason.

Meriden’s Debating Coordinator, Miss Stephanie Mantzouridis, mentored the Archdale Debating teams and said preparing for the competition as a team was one of the most important elements of their training.

“The girls are taught how to communicate and contest ideas respectfully and build knowledge together as a team. The rotational configuration of speakers for each round allows for the girls to experience different speaker positions, further strengthening their preparation for the proceeding rounds,” she said.

Yiru said the best part of the competition was the way her team members supported each other during moments of pressure.

“Learning to deal with the high-pressure situation of the debates and the limited time to prepare was challenging. However, when our team won, it really was so rewarding. The experience has developed my confidence and I have learnt how to work effectively as a team,” Yuri said.

Miss Mantzouridis congratulated the Year 7 team on their success, as well as the Meriden 7A and 8A teams, which advanced to the Semi-Finals of the notoriously challenging competition. She said that participating in debating has far-reaching benefits for the girls.

“Debating builds a student’s confidence, critical thinking, adaptability, improvisation and collaborative capacity in unique ways. These skills are central to students’ development and are transferable to other areas of their learning,” said Miss Mantzouridis.

“On a much more general level, the girls are encouraged to engage with their world, current affairs and significant news stories. Bringing such knowledge into the prep room is advantageous because it provides support to claims that are made and can inform the quality of students’ ideas, particularly in lieu of technology during the preparation process for every debate.”

Congratulations to every student who represented the School in this competition.

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