At Wellington, debate participation begins with a one-year course for students with an interest in developing experience in public speaking. The course provides an introduction to various forms of debate and public speaking activities. These speaking forms include Lincoln Douglas Debate, Congressional Debate, Public Forum Debate, extemporaneous speaking, oratory, and dramatic, humorous, prose, and poetic interpretive reading.
Throughout the school year, inter-scholastic tournaments are held in which high school students from around the county, state and nation gather to display their skills in a wide range of speaking and acting events.
In addition, the course focuses on the basic components of persuasion and oral advocacy, including the role of logos, ethos, and pathos in making persuasive arguments. It also covers the characteristics and roles of different types of reasoning that are utilized in oral argumentation, including deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, inference, and metaphor.
Debate is a co-curricular class. It operates much like Band, Orchestra, or Choir, in that we do classroom activities that are skill and content focused to prepare us for performances/competitions. Debate tournaments happen on the weekends, and are the culmination of our classroom preparations.