Forensics (Speech and Debate)

A focus on the importance and art of oral communication is a hallmark of The Blake School; public speaking and student speeches has been a part of the School's curriculum for over one hundred years, starting in the earliest grades. While student presentation skills are explored and developed in multiple ways and classes pre-kindergarten through grade 12, Blake's Upper School provides a specific curriculum with forensics offerings emphasizing the critical nature of communication and debate in a democratic society. Students hone skills in effective public speaking, critical thinking and research that cross academic disciplines and last a lifetime. The Blake School Forensics program provides authentic opportunities to develop these skills within the curriculum and as extracurricular activities. Curricular offerings include Speech Theatre, Speech Activities, Argumentation and Debate, Advanced Debate (Policy and Public Forum), and Psychology of Communications. In the extracurricular Forensics program three types of competitive debate and five types of competitive speech options are offered, with opportunities for travel to local, regional and national tournament competitions. Students learn the ins and outs of running a major debate tournament each December when Blake hosts the John Edie Invitational Tournament. Blake's commitment to excellence in oral communication culminates in the Senior Speech, a formal speech that each senior presents in an all-school assembly.

For more information, please contact Christine Saunders, PK-12 Department Chair for the Arts, at 952-988-3724 csaunders@blakeschool.org.