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 Debating and Public Speaking

Branksome Hall has a long history of cultivating confident, articulate young women who are inquisitive risk-takers. Debating and public speaking skills have helped to build the confidence and abilities of generations of Branksome students.

Debating and public speaking, particularly on a competitive level, builds capacity for critical thinking, hones communication skills, encourages open-mindedness, and broadens knowledge. Branksome enlists top-notch debating coaches, who cultivate students' abilities.

At Branksome, debating starts in the Junior School and continues to the IB Diploma through the Debating and Public Speaking Society. Young women are encouraged to discuss and explore issues of global, national and local importance, and to make their voices heard.

Known around the world for its well-prepared and passionate debaters, Branksome Hall has established a remarkable track record of success at local, Canada-wide and international tournaments.

World Renown
Over the past decade, Branksome students have reached the pinnacle of high school debating by placing first in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships as well as the International Independent School Public Speaking and Debating Championships.

Fulford League
Closer to home, Branksome Hall is a member of the Fulford League, a group of independent schools that compete in several tournaments to earn the Fulford Cup at the end of the year. Branksome Hall was the first all-girls' school to win this cup.

Nora McRae Public Speaking Tournament
This competition was founded to honour the late Nora McRae, a much admired Branksome Hall English teacher who worked tirelessly to promote the art of oratory during her long career.

Hosted annually at Branksome, the tournament attracts more than 80 junior and senior high school students representing 15 schools across Ontario. Participants flex their oratory skills across seven wide-ranging categories, which include Interpretive Reading, After-Dinner Speaking and Radio Newscast.

Debating Outreach
The Debating and Public Speaking Society at Branksome has initiated debates and discussions over Skype with the debating community at QGAP, our partner school in Queenstown, South Africa. Branksome debaters shared resources that our team uses to prepare for debating and public speaking tournaments.

Recipe for Success
One former Branksome Hall debating coach listed four essential ingredients for success: listening, writing, thinking and speaking. He said that, if you can listen with an open mind, write down your thoughts clearly, think before speaking, and have the confidence to deliver a powerful and persuasive speech, you will go far in debating.

Branksome Hall students have been mastering and refining this recipe for decades, and the tradition continues today.

10 Elm Avenue, Toronto, ON M4W 1N4, Canada

Tel: 416-920-9741 |