With several components, including public speaking, debate, Model United Nations, and mock law trials, the program features a breadth of offerings. Students, of all experience levels, receive the support, and opportunities, needed to achieve their best, whether in small-group settings or competing at the national level. All students participate in public speaking and debate activities, but select areas of specialisation, often in preparation for higher-level competition. Our coaching system provides for leadership within the program, with more experienced debaters leading workshops and organising special events.
In order to increase their confidence, all students must exercise and enhance their public speaking skills. This stream runs year-long, underlying and connecting all components. Students participate in in-class public speaking exercises, including persuasive, extemporaneous and after-dinner speaking. They may also deliver interpretive readings and dramatic monologues, focusing on the stylistic characteristics of delivery, and may be selected to represent the school at both the local and provincial levels.
Debating in a range of styles, including World Schools, Canadian National, cross-examination and bilingual debate, students compete at the local, regional and provincial levels, with some representing British Columbia at the Canadian National Secondary Schools tournament. All students participate in in-house debates, in preparation for external competition, and have the opportunity to represent their Houses in Inter-House debates, as well as online tournaments against debaters from other regions of the world. Our carefully structured coaching structure is multi-faceted, with our most experienced debaters stepping into leadership roles and receiving specialised support from university-level debaters.
The Model United Nations component provides the opportunity to debate contemporary and historical issues from a range of international perspectives and delegates learn to find compromise between opposing points of view, prioritizing aspects of greatest importance. Our Island Model United Nations conference, organised by our own students (imun.ca), is a one-day event that offers committee options for first-time and experienced delegates. Students also have the opportunity to participate in select conferences, including ShawMUN (Shawnigan Lake School), VMUN (Vancouver), NHSMUN (not available in 2015-16) and SSUNS (Montreal).
This program is ideal for students who wish to improve their communication skills, are interested in weighing conflicting truth claims and are eager to craft well-researched and multi-layered arguments. Consisting of complimentary streams and designed to meet the needs of students of all ability levels, the program has something for everyone.