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Speech and Debate

"So much of who I am today comes from the experiences I had at STS through speech and debate ... I am immensely grateful for the confidence, ability to think on my feet and value of seeing an issue from all sides..." - Mercedes Stephenson, National Journalist and Military Analyst

Our alumni tell us that their ability to speak in public is among the top skills they gained at STS. They also tell us that the annual Speech Day is one of their fondest memories.

Our students, who we’re educating to be leaders, will use speech and debate skills throughout their lives. That’s why we’ve integrated the program into our curriculum as well as formed a club. Students learn about the technical and emotive components in an effective speech, and how to prepare and deliver it.

Every single STS student speaks in public each year. It may occur in the comfort and safety of the school, or at provincial, national and international tournaments. Even the Kindergarten to Grade 3 children speak at the Spring Family Tea Day. In Elementary, students prepare content to present at assemblies. Students learn speech in their English Language Arts classes from Grade 7 to 12.

Well-spoken beyond their years as youth, the students and alumni of Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School show the value of the Speech and Debate program every day.

Opportunities 

Middle and Senior School Debate Teams 

Your child has ideas, opinions, and their own understanding of issues around them. As they mature, the ability to express themselves verbally with skill and poise will help them make a difference in the world. The debate club gives them speaking and discussion prowess, and, perhaps more importantly, teach them that good discussion includes listening to other people’s ideas.

We invite all Middle and Senior School students to join debate teams. They each meet once a week from September to March. The sessions focus on professional instruction and plentiful practice in a positive atmosphere.

Both Middle and Senior School teams compete in Alberta Debate and Speech Association tournaments at local Calgary schools.

Speech Teams

Middle and Senior School students are also welcome to join the STS Speech team for extra instruction outside the classroom. They’ll experiment further with strategies in delivery and poise, using speech and drama exercises, discussion and practice. Our teams compete throughout the year in Alberta Debate and Speech Association tournaments, held at local Calgary schools.

International Independent School Public Speaking Competition 

STS is the only Alberta member of the International Independent School Public Speaking Competition. For three decades the organization has hosted an annual international public speaking and debate competition in various Canadian cities. Twice, STS has had the pleasure of hosting. Invited schools send one of three competitors to the four-day tournament. Speakers compete in nine types of speeches, some written and practiced beforehand, and many with very little preparation time.

This tournament also qualifies students to advance to the World's Individual Public Speaking Championships held in various countries. Over the past years, STS has had several students win top prizes at World's. 

In 2017 at the competition in Winnipeg, Zaki L. '20 ranked 2nd place overall among 144 international students — a highly unusual event for a Grade 10 student. Joined in the competition by Chelli S. '19, Dieter F. '20, the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School team came sixth place out of 44 independent schools from nine countries.