Combined High Schools Debating

2017 Competition


Congratulations to the Combined High Schools Debating Team (pictured above) who placed second in the 2017 Representative Debating Challenge. The CHS team was represented by students from Fort St High School, Hornsby Girls High School, North Sydney Girls High School, Smiths Hill High School, Sydney Boys High School and Sydney Girls High School.

Following a selection trial and a number of training sessions, the Combined High Schools Firsts and Seconds took part in a series of debates between teams drawn from the CHS and the three major non-government groupings (Greater Public Schools, Combined Associated  Schools and Archdale Representative Schools). 

Teams debated such topics as "That the Indigenous community should refuse to accept constitutional recognition without practical change" and "That parents should be able to select the gender of their children." The CHS team secured 10 points, while ART won with 15 points. The dates and venues for the three debates were as follows: 

CHS  v Archdale Representative Team: Monte Sant Angelo College, Wednesday 6 September
CHS v Combined Associated Schools: Sydney Girls High School, Monday 11 September
CHS v Greater Public Schools: Trinity Grammar, Wednesday 13 September 

Rules of Competition

  • Competitors must be from Years 11 and 12.
  • Teams are comprised of four members.
  • Speakers are to speak for eight minutes with a warning bell at six minutes, two bells at eight minutes and a continuous bell at nine minutes.
  • The topics will only be disclosed, and agreed upon, immediately prior to preparation time.
  • Teams must prepare their debates within a predetermined time limit of one hour.
  • A win in the Firsts is awarded a score of three points, and a win in the Seconds is awarded a score of two points. No points are awarded for a loss. At competition’s end, each of the competing teams will have a score out of fifteen.

Stages of Competition

  • Students are nominated by coaches and adjudicators and selection trials take place on the first Saturday of the holidays at the end of Term 2 at The Arts Unit, corner of Toothill Steet and The Boulevarde, Lewisham.
  • Selected students participate in a series of coaching sessions.
  • The three competition debates take place in Term 3.
  • Firsts and Seconds debates are held simultaneously in the evening at a host school. Parents, friends and people interested in debating are encouraged to attend.


Medallions and CHS ties are awarded to team members of both the Firsts and the Seconds, and the NSW Representative Debating Cup is awarded to the Champion representative team. 

Past CHS Results