GOOD TALKERS: Briellen Keenes, Blair Haynes, Declan Ellis and Bryce Chapman are the Casino High School year 7-8 debating team
GOOD TALKERS: Briellen Keenes, Blair Haynes, Declan Ellis and Bryce Chapman are the Casino High School year 7-8 debating team

Don't even try to argue with these teens

SOME teenagers know how to talk better than others.

Blair Haynes, Declan Ellis, Bryce Chapman and Briellen Keenes are the Casino High School year 7-8 debating team and their talking has seen them take out third place in the Premier's Debating Challenge.

The group travelled to Sydney University to compete in the state finals against 433 other schools.

In their smart navy blazers, they were given a controversial debate topic only one hour before the competition.

Fourteen-year-old Briellen is the "silent speaker” on the debate team.

She doesn't present a public argument but helps to organise ideas and structure how the team will put forward their strongest argument.

Each round saw a different topic debated.

The topics included education, media, sports, politics and science.

All the Casino team's skill was needed when they were given their final topic - Should we ban drinking at all public events such as sports and festivals.

The coin toss decided who would debate for and who against.

They Casino team were allocated the "for argument.”

They had one hour with no phone and no dictionary to work out a plan of action.

Blair is always first to present the team's argument.

Then the competing team has a turn, back to Casino High and so forth.

Declan and Bryce were busy taking notes while the other side gave their point of view.

"We have palm cards you look at but you don't stare at your cards,” Bryce said.

English teacher Faeann Muller has been involved with the debating team for six years.

"Debating has changed the way I write essays in English,” Blair said.

Bryce has a more compelling reason to be in the debating team.

"You get heaps of days off school,” he said.

"And lots of pizza and chocolate,” the others chimed in.



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