Chess, Debating and F1 in Schools

We offer programs for Chess, Debating and F1 in Schools.

Each of these activities are co-ordinated by teachers at the College and are supported by internal and external competition routes.

We encourage all our boys to participate and to enter competitions as the exposure helps broaden their knowledge as well as assist in establishing lasting connections with peers outside of the College.


Informal and Competition Chess

Newington’s Chess Club meetings are very informal and offer the students an opportunity to meet for social games as well as a chance to participate in the various competitions the school offers, both internally and externally. The Friday afternoon sessions are run by a professional Chess co-ordinator Mr Graeme Downward.

External Competitions

Newington participates in a number of external competitions:

  • The NSW Junior Schools Competition
  • The GPS competition
  • The Terry Shaw Shield
  • Scots Invitational
  • GPS Representative team

Internal Competitions

Newington also has competitions and fun activities throughout the year based around the club itself:

  • The (10 minute) Handicap Knock-out tournament
  • The annual Staff v Student competition
  • House Competition days

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This year the College entered six teams in the New South Wales Junior Chess League’s (NSWJCL) Secondary Schools Competition. Teams played in a round robin qualifying competition over seven rounds and the leading teams proceeded to a Regional Competition across Metropolitan Sydney. Newington was very competitive and had three teams finish second, one team finish third and one team (Senior A) who won.


Debating and Oratory encourages students to build their skills of team work, critical thinking, development of sustained arguments and spoken presentation. While oratory of course builds confidence and readiness for future careers and useful skills for boys to work on in order to more confidently perform the oral presentation assessment tasks required in many HSC and IB subjects, it is first and foremost a forum for boys to develop thoughtful and collaborative friendships. Debating at the College is conducted during Terms 1, 2 and 3. The boys participate in many different competitions, including the Independent Schools Debating Association (ISDA), Friday Evening Debating (FED), the History Debating Competition, the GPS Debating competition, the Bond University Mooting Competition, the Voice of Youth, the Legacy Public Speaking Competition, the Rotary Public Speaking Competition, the Plain English Speaking Competition and the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition. Training runs throughout the week with debates held on Friday nights between 6 and 8 pm.

History Debating

History Debating combines the rigour and flair of debating with the depth of knowledge and accuracy required when analysing History.

In recent years, Newington boys have performed exceedingly well in History Debating winning the Les Gordon History Debating Competition Grand Final two years in a row.


The Bond University Mooting Competition is only open to Year 11 students. The premise of the competition is that an appeal is simulated on an error of law or an error of application of law to facts. Boys are given a set of facts and a case to which they use to argue their client’s case in front of a panel of judges. They are required to prepare written submissions – a summary of their arguments – and make oral submissions of up to 10 minutes to be presented to the panel. Any one of the judges on the panel can interrupt the speaker at any point in the presentation to interrogate him on a point of law or ask him questions. This means that mooters need an excellent understanding of the cases.

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Public Speaking

We participate in a variety of Public Speaking competitions in order to give boys a chance to develop their skills over the year. Not only is there the school’s internal competition, but boys also participate in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition, Plain English Speaking, Legacy Speaking and the Rostrum Trophy.

F1 in Schools

The F1 in Schools competition is a program that is run across the world with over a million students competing every year. The brief is to design, build, collaborate, test and race a miniature F1 car, as well as promote your team and sponsors to the community. The emphasis is on collaboration and sponsorship which helps develop skills and knowledge about what it takes to build a business – skills which are extremely valuable for prospective engineers and designers.

F1 in Schools Program has been a part of Co-curricular since 2012. The competition is based on Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Learning. It has gained more recognition within the College over the last couple of years with more students applying each year.

The competition has gained higher recognition in the Newington Community with more students applying to form a team every year.

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F1 In Schools at the World Championships

A program highlight includes Newington College winning the F1 in Schools Australian National Finals in Canberra in 2014.