WPGA's debate, Model UN and public speaking programs are world recognized, with individual and team achievements at the national and international levels. From grade 5, students are invited to participate in these programs, which focuses on developing analytical, communication and leadership skills, building self-confidence and increasing global awareness. 
    • Model UN Club

Debate Program

Club Level 
WPGA's junior debate club (grades 5-7) and senior debate club (grades 8-12) comprise 85 students; both clubs compete at local, provincial, national and international debate and public speaking competitions. The senior school club includes Model United Nations, which further develops students' debate and public speaking skills as well as their understanding of global issues and diplomacy.

Competitive Level 
WPGA’s senior competitive debate team is the most decorated team on the national circuit. Our debaters have won five consecutive senior national championships, a rare feat in Canadian debate history, and numerous regional and provincial titles. WPGA debaters have also qualified at the Oxford Finals seven times; as of 2015, nine national debate squad teams, which represent Canada at the World Schools Debate Championships, will have included WPGA students. WPGA head debate coach, Tracey Lee, was national team coach from 2009-2011 and led the team that won the 2010 World Championship. Visit WPGA's debate website for more club information and tournament news.

Senior Debate Highlights

Senior National Debate Champions (Top Team)
2015: Lloyd Lyall and Samantha Starkey 
2014: Lloyd Lyall and Samantha Starkey
2010: Jonathan Carson and Iqbal Kassam
2009: Jonathan Carson and Iqbal Kassam
2008: Sean Husband and Helenaz Hajifattahi

Senior National Debate Champions (Top Individual Speaker)
2013: Jessica Dorfmann
2009: Iqbal Kassam
2008: Sean Husband

Worlds Team Members:
2013: Jessica Dorfmann, Alessandra Harkness
2012: Jessica Dorfmann, Liam Carson
2011: Ashley Bowron, Peter McCauley
2010: Iqbal Kassam (captain), Jonathan Carson, Sophie Bird
2009: Iqbal Kassam
2007: Andrew Rusk (captain)

Worlds Individual Public Speaking and Debate
2015: Samantha Starkey 
2014: Samantha Starkey
2013: Samantha Starkey
2012: Samantha Starkey
2009: Iqbal Kassam (top parliamentarian)
2007: Andrew Rusk (5th overall, world ranking)
2006: Andrew Rusk

Model United Nations

In Model UN, students debate world issues and gain advanced knowledge of international relation protocols and diplomacy by assuming the roles of UN representatives and delegates from other international bodies and national cabinets in simulated United Nations symposiums. WPGA's Model UN club spans grades 7-12. Since 2009, grades 10-12 students have hosted Vancouver Youth Model UN (VYMUN) for grades 7-9 students throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to give novice MUNers the opportunity to develop their negotiation skills. Senior school students also have the opportunity every year to participate in national and international Model UN events, including McGill Model UN, Harvard Model UN and Harvard Model Congress Europe. WPGA students have consistently received top awards at these events and have been recognized eight times as the top school delegation.

Public Speaking

WPGA students participate in speech events that include persuasive speaking, dramatic monologue, interpretive reading and impromptu speaking, and compete in the International Independent Schools Public Speaking League. From 2012-2015, Samantha Starkey '15 represented Canada at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships and in 2015 won the championship title in Hong Kong.