Search Blackfriars

24 November 2021

Challenge accepted – and that’s not up for debate

It does not pay to get into an argument with this group of Blackfriars…

It does not pay to get into an argument with this group of Blackfriars boys.

The students – Ben Stargatt, Panteli Vasilopoulos, Riaan Singla, Mark Tsavdaridis, Henry Kemp and Maceo Lens ­- made up the school’s 2021 Primary debating team.

It was the first time the boys, who worked under the guidance of teacher Claire Holland, had debated against teams from other schools.

“Under Mrs Holland’s dedicated coaching and guidance, we stepped up to the challenge,” team member Ben said.

“Despite narrowly losing the first two debates, the final debate against Wilderness saw us victorious.

“We successfully argued for the affirmative that the protection of native species should be put before economic development.”

Ben said being part of the Primary School debating team had given the boys valuable new skills.

“The time spent developing messages, learning debating techniques and working together under pressure are life skills that will benefit our team long into the future,” he said.

“It could be said that we set an example some of our political leaders could learn from – but that’s probably a debate for another time!” ​

Blackfriars’ 2021 Primary School debating team.

Mrs Holland said the skills gained in debating helped the students in their studies.

“For example, writing an essay. You form a point of view, do your research and then make your argument – just like in a debate,” Mrs Holland said.

Students wanting to join the Primary School debating team in 2022 should contact Mrs Holland.