WPGA's debate and public speaking programs develop students' critical thinking, communication and leadership skills. Beginning in grade 5, students are invited to join the program at the club level (which focuses on workshops, guest speakers, intramural competition and tournament officiating) or competitive level (competing at local and provincial tournaments with opportunities to advance to national and international competitions).
The junior school club (grades 4 to 7) and senior school club (grades 8 to 12) is comprised of approximately 125 students, and both clubs compete at local, provincial, national and international debate and public speaking competitions. The senior school club includes Model United Nations, which further develops students' debate and public speaking skills as well as their understanding of global issues, diplomacy and negotiation.
WPGA’s senior school competitive debate team is one of the most decorated teams on the national circuit. Past teams have won Senior National Championships five times (2008-2010, 2014, 2015), a rare feat in Canadian debate history, and multiple regional and provincial titles over the past fifteen years. WPGA debaters have also qualified as one of two Canadian teams at the Oxford Finals (U.K. championships) five times in the past ten years, and ten national debate squad teams, which represent Canada at the World Schools Debate Championships, have included WPGA students. WPGA head coach, Ms. Tracey Lee, was national team coach from 2009 to 2011 and led the team that captured the 2010 World Champions title.
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