Speech and Debate

The purpose of the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School Speech and Debate program is to improve student communication skills.

Students gain confidence and learn to think critically. Both speech and debate foster open-mindedness in forming opinions and understanding global issues which is why this program helps our students develop leadership, scholarship and character.


Senior Debate Team

Senior students are invited to join our Debate Team which meets once a week from September to March. Students are coached in debating and practice for Alberta Debate and Speech Association (ADSA) tournaments that occur at local Calgary high schools.

Middle School Debate Team

Middle School students are encouraged to join our Middle School Debate Team which meets once a week from September to mid-March. Students receive professional instruction and practice the elements of public speaking and debate in a friendly and positive environment. They compete in ADSA tournaments at local Calgary Junior High schools.

Speech Team

Both Middle and Senior School students are welcomed to join the school Speech team. The team meets once a week from September to March.   Students make friends and develop eloquence in public speaking. Through speech and drama exercises, discussion and practice, these students enjoy experimenting with various strategies in effective delivery and poise. Middle School students benefit from the experience and advice of seniors during the practice sessions. 

Speech provides an open and safe environment for everyone to practice public speaking in the tradition of our School’s fine history in this art. This team provides additional instruction beyond the STS annual Speech Day at which all students are required to make a speech as part of their curriculum. Speech students compete in local, regional, provincial and international ADSA tournaments.

Alberta Debate and Speech Association (ADSA)

Our students have competing opportunities throughout the year as a result of our ADSA membership. This organization is committed to the development of our youth in the areas of critical thinking, research, analytical thought, public speaking, teamwork, leadership and creativity.

ADSA has over 70 schools as members including STS. ADSA is governed by a volunteer board consisting of teachers who work with the students in the classroom. It promotes speech and debate activities in language arts (English and French), drama, social studies and science throughout the province. Our students are provided with several opportunities to compete in speech and debate tournaments throughout the year.

International Independent School Public Speaking League (IISPSC)

STS is the only independent school in Alberta which is a member of the International Independent Public Speaking League (IISPSC).  For the past 27 years, this league has hosted an annual public speaking and debating competition that has attracted competitors from around the world. Upon invitation, recognized independent schools including STS may send teams of three competitors to the four-day competition typically hosted by one of the Canadian member schools.  STS successfully hosted two competitions.

Students must compete in three events, each from a different category listed below:

  • Category I:  Impromptu Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Category II:  Parliamentary Debate, Newscast
  • Category III:  After-Dinner Speaking, Persuasive Speaking
  • Category IV:  Interpretive Reading, Cross Examination Debating