Home' Focus : Focus Magazine Spring 2015 Contents 20
Every year Readers Cup goes from
strength to strength. It’s a competition where
students form groups to read a selection of
books together with the aim of promoting
a love of reading amongst students. The
competition aspect involves the teams
answering questions about the books and
a creative presentation to showcase the
unique messages gained from their reading.
These presentations take a variety of forms,
including dramatic interpretations, models
Year 6 students enjoyed six set texts:
Hana’s Suitcase (Karen Levine), The Short
and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley (Colin
Thompson, Amy Lissiat), Stella by the Sea
(Ruth Starke), The Last Elephant (Justin
D’rth), Little Manfred and Shadow (both by
The largest contingent of Year 6 students
yet – seven teams – then participated in
the Intra-schools competition, and were up
against stiff competition from Year 5 groups.
Each team employed many of their known
thoughtful reading strategies to assist them
in developing a deeper understanding and
knowledge of the assigned texts. They
also presented a four minute performance
challenge which ranged from role play,
drama, singing, dancing and PowerPoint
Each presentation highlighted the ‘big
idea’ in the story or provided the audience
with a snapshot of the story line. They
were extremely entertaining, unique, well
thought out, confidently presented and often
Congratulations to all students who
participated this year.
A group of Year 7 and 8 students were
involved as well, reading a wide selection of
interesting titles. After devoting many lunch
breaks to practising for this competition,
our team of Year 8 girls – Chloe McCann,
Lucy Jones, Zoe Neville, Millie Moses, Kate
Neville and Laura Green – earned the right to
represent Scotch Oakburn at the Northern
High Schools final at Queechy High School.
The girls were excited to display their
creative piece to the judges, which was
comprehensive and expressed a thoughtful
message promoting gender equality and
raising awareness about leprosy. The
competition was of an extremely high
standard and all creative pieces were
imaginative and diverse. Congratulations
to Newstead Christian School which was
awarded the Readers Cup this year.
Term 2 saw the final rounds of the Northern
Junior Debate Roster which featured students in
Years 7 to 10 from all over Northern Tasmania.
The roster comprised seven rounds hosted by
different participating schools.
Our Middle School Year 7 team took part in
a competition for Years 7 to 9 and had as its
mainstays Charlotte Bell, Ethan Hamilton, Holiday
Holcombe-James and Alexandra Phillips and was
wonderfully supported by Caitlyn Cutler, Mataya
Hodgetts and Scarlett Veevers. This team of new
debaters set its goal to win more debates than it
lost and it did so, learning much along the way.
Students debated both prepared and
impromptu topics. The impromptu topics can be
quite nerve wracking as students only receive the
topic one hour before they debate them. In that
precious hour’s preparation time, they have to
plan their team case, write their arguments, and
consider how they might rebut the case against
them . . . all while controlling their anxiety!
Debating is a fantastically enjoyable and
rewarding experience for all participants.
However, this is just one of its many benefits.
Debating gives students an improved perspective
on the world around them as they learn about
important issues in politics, public policy and
philosophy, and gain a better appreciation for the
diverse perspectives within key issues.
Participation in competitive debate asks
students to interrogate the assumptions on which
their opinions are based. They test their ideas and
present them to an audience for public scrutiny.
This process of idea formation and revision
teaches students to think rigorously, analyse
issues effectively and better communicate their
ideas to their audiences.
As President Kennedy recognised, debate is
truly the bedrock of democracy.
Teacher-in-charge of Junior Debating
Note: Congratulations to the Year 9 team which
tied in first place in the Years 7-9 competition
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