Debating has a strong following at PNBHS.
At the beginning of every year, Year 9 and 10 students are invited to register their interest in joining a school debating team.
In 2015, PNBHS Junior Debating has 21 students comprising 7 debating teams, who were chosen after undergoing a rigorous audition and selection process.
The John Prestage Competition for juniors is organised at a District level, where the boys compete against St Peters College, Wanganui High School, Wanganui Collegiate, Wanganui College, Freyberg, PNGHS Nga Tawa, Turakina Maori Girls’ College and Rangitikei College in both ‘home’ and ‘away’ fixtures.
A new moot is sent out at the beginning of terms 1, 2 and 3 and the finals are held in term 4.
PNBHS is proud of the students who progress from junior debating to debating at senior level. Many of the students become student leaders and also mentor junior debating teams. The Premier Junior Debating Team also represents the school in annual school exchanges with Napier Boys’ High School and Wellington College.
Our school is well supported by Dr Geoff Watson from Massey University who trains senior students in adjudication and adjudicates inter-school debates.
In 2014 our premiere junior team won the John Prestage Competition.
Students who wish to take part in senior debating are invited to take part in trial debates at the beginning of the academic year. The reason for the trial debates is to pick teams for the regional debates, which take place over a weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) at the end of the first term. Topics are of a political or contemporary issues nature with a national or international context. We aim to pick two or three teams for this regional competition, with one of the teams being named Senior A.
After the regional competition, performances are evaluated and a Senior A team is picked for the Super 8 competition. Following that competition there are traditional school debates against Wellington College and Napier Boys’ High School.