CDS Debating and Public Speaking

Students at CDS can begin debating in Grade 7 and enjoy an increasing number of opportunities to compete through Grade 12. By learning the art of debate, students build confidence, develop critical thinking and communication skills, and acquire a wider understanding of current and historical events.
The Debating & Public Speaking Club’s ongoing success over the past nine years has contributed to its growth and popularity as more experienced Senior School students are keen to mentor younger students and help contribute to their skill development.
The Club at CDS has experienced another banner year competing on the world stage. Veteran Debating Coach, Kerstin Wyndham-West, has facilitated this club for more than 20 years and is extremely well respected among her colleagues and students worldwide.

Latest Debating News

List of 5 news stories.

  • Grade 8 Student Excels at Junior Nationals

    Congratulations to Grade 8 student, Arjun Walia, for his outstanding performance at the Canadian National Junior High Public Speaking Championships held at West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver last weekend. His Top 18 finish was remarkable, as the majority of students competing were in Grade 9.

    Arjun's Persuasive Speech on the dangers of the over-prescription of antibiotics was particularly well received and achieved fifth place. Thank you to his debating coach, Ms. Sagalina Doré, for accompanying him to the event.

    This is an impressive feat for a Grade 8 student and we are immensely proud of Arjun's accomplishment!
    Read More
  • Danyal Hakeem '22 and Kate Shepherd '21 (Missing from photo: Jesse Rudin '23)

    Novice Competitors Shine at Nora McCrae Public Speaking Competition

    Kerstin Wyndham-West, Debating and Public Speaking Coach, Faculty
    Last Saturday, three novice students: Jessie Rudin (‘23), Danyal Hakeem (‘22) and Kate Shepherd (‘21) travelled to Branksome Hall School to participate in the Nora McRae Public Speaking Competition. All the students performed in three categories.
    Read More
  • Grade 5/6 Public Speaking Competition

    The Grade 5 and 6 classes held their in-class speech competitions from April 2nd through April 10th. The students were encouraged to write speeches on any topic and needed to be two and a half, to three minutes in length.

    Read More
  • Students Excel at World Individual Public Speaking and Debating Championships in South Africa

    Kerstin Wyndham-West, Debating and Public Speaking Coach, Faculty
    For the past 11 years, CDS has qualified at least one student every year to join Team Canada’s contingent of 14 students at the World Individual Public Speaking Championships. This is a significant accomplishment, as CDS is only one of two Canadian schools to have done so. This year’s host was Bishop’s Diocesan College in Cape Town, South Africa, an independent school for boys, with a spectacular campus situated at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
    Read More
  • Congrats and Good Luck to our Debaters!

    CDS wishes our Grade 11 debaters, Anais Leiva von Bovet and Maeve Tebbutt, all the best as they begin their journey to Cape Town to compete in the World Individual Public Speaking and Debating Championships!
    In addition, congratulations to Grade 8 debaters Arjun Walia, Danyal Hakeem and Tomas Chacin on their performance at the Junior Provincial Public Speaking Qualifiers at UTS on March 27. Both Arjun and Tomas won awards, and Arjun’s second place award qualified him to attend Nationals in Vancouver this May as one of 12 Grade 7-9 students from Ontario!
    The competition required the boys to write and memorize eight-minute speeches, have an interpretive reading, and present for three to five minutes without the use of notes after only two minutes of prep time. A tall order for anyone, but the competition was quite steep with more than 40 competitors and only the top 12 qualifying for Nationals.

    Great work boys!
    Read More

Student Testimonial

List of 1 news stories.

  • Kerstin Wyndham-West, Debating Coach

    Kerstin Wyndham-West was born and raised in London, England, and she graduated in 1990 with an MA (Hons) from Hertford College, Oxford University, in Philosophy and Modern Languages. She then spent several years teaching English at the Gymnasium Oberalster in Hamburg, Germany.
    Read More


List of 5 items.

CDS World Qualifiers

CDS Students to qualify for Worlds in the past nine years:

Olivia Railton '17 and
Maeve Tebbutt '19 - Vancouver, BC
2016    Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and
Olivia Railton ’17 - Pittsburgh, PA
2015 Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and
Olivia Railton ’17 - Hong Kong, China
2014 Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 - Druskininkai, Lithuania
2013 Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 - Durban, South Africa
2012 Reid Dobell ’12 - Brisbane, Australia
2011 Lucas Regazzi ’12 - Brisbane, Australia
2010 Victoria Sienczewski ’12 - Druskininkai, Lithuania
2009 Genevieve Laurier ’09 and
Rachael Andrew ’09 - Reading, U.K.
2008 Genevieve Laurier ’09 - Winnenden, Germany

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5
(905) 833-1220
Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.