Starting in Junior School where key concepts are introduced, Debating is a mainstay of the co-curricular offering at TAS. In both Middle and Senior Schools Debating opportunities are varied: against other Armidale schools as part of the Tri-Schools Debating competition (for Middle School students) and impromptu debates at Senior School level; other schools from across Australia (including, it is planned in 2017, ‘virtual’ debates held online), and an inter-house competition (at both Middle and Senior School level) which accrues points for the Clemson Cup for Public Speaking and Debating. In recent years there have also been Students v Staff debates and School v Old Boys’ debates. Students will be notified about Debating meetings in the early weeks of Term 1 of each year.
In both Middle and Senior School, students take part in the public speaking section of the inter-house competition for the Clemson Cup. Conducted in Term 3, the Middle School competition is held in the Hoskins Centre, whilst the Senior School competition is held during a special whole-of-school Assembly Held in the Hoskins Centre in front of a capacity audience, an always-entertaining showcase of skilful oratory, youthful confidence and wit. Other opportunities in 2016 included the Speaking for the Planet (Year 10) and Rotary (Year 11) public speaking competitions.