This week, the school’s Year 9 Tereora College Junior Debate Team participated in a number of debates in NZ.
Although some of the student’s were nervous, team leader Brenda Rudolph said the debates were close, and one of the teams even scored a victory.
Team members include Lily Vea, Lyn Mataora, Poetiare Tararo, Harry Napa, Morgan George, Viani Kaho, Matthew Brown, Manaariki Pierre, Zac Simpson, and teacher Kimberly Ngatuakana.
While in NZ, the students are being billeted by families of students of Whangarei High School, who hope to visit Rarotonga next year.
The team has been busy, working hard for the last few months in preparation for the Debate competition, as well as raising funds for airfares and activities while in New Zealand.
After first finding out that a number of students were keen to get involved in debating, Rudolph said she discussed the idea with a fellow teacher and friend in NZ about having the teams from different countries compete against each other.
“We spent the first term learning basic debating skills and selecting a group of nine students who would work well together,” she said.
A number of practice sessions were held, including researching topics, and preparing and presenting speeches.
“This was quite challenging as it required commitment and time to prepare,” she said.
The team managed to raise funds through movie nights at the Empire Theatre with food stalls.
“The parents have been very supportive and have worked hard to raise the money required for the trip,” said Rudolph.
In addition to debating, a group will have participated in a number of activities, including a high ropes course, a visit to Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, Rainbow's End, and Waiwera Hot Pools.
“I hope the students gain a better understanding of debating through this experience, as well as the opportunity to make new friends and experience life in a small town in New Zealand,” said Rudolph.
“I have loved working with the students and the parents of this wonderful group. I hope it is the beginning of an ongoing relationship between all of these schools.”
The team with Queen's Representative Tom Marsters