In Loreto College we have a junior debating meeting in the school every Monday where students can practice these skills in front of their classmates.
In addition to this we enter teams (at both junior and senior cycle) in various inter-school competitions. For the seniors we enter the Leinster Schools Debating, the Oxford Schools Debating Championship, the Cambridge Schools Mace, the Aoife Begley Memorial Debating Competition and, of course, the Loreto Debating competition. We also enter Mace debating competitions organised by TCD, UCD and other schools. Every year a large number of our students compete with great distinction in all these competitions.
For the juniors, we enter the Junior Leinster Debating Championships, the Matheson National Junior Mace, school run Mace competitions, the International Competition for Young Debaters and the Loreto Public Speaking and Debating competitions. Each year our fifth year debaters organise our own Junior Debating competition where 40 teams visit us for a fun Saturday of debating (and pizza eating) which takes place throughout the school.
Not only does this give students a bigger platform on which to hone their skills but it also allows them the opportunity to meet and make friends with people from many different schools. Public Speaking/Debating also gives students the chance to think about and discuss a wide variety of issues, many of which are directly relevant to their lives. There is no doubt that the ability to analyse a topic and develop a coherent argument about it can be of academic benefit. Mostly, though, it is a fun and pleasurable experience that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. If you like to argue, you'll love debating.