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Frequently Asked Questions
When do you operate?
We run programs during every school holidays, usually spanning both weeks of the public school breaks (and the latter half of January over the Summer vacation).
Between what times do your holiday programs run?
All of our holiday programs are either 2 or 3 days long, and run between 9:00am and 3:00pm. We are normally at the sign in desk by 8:30am, but ask that you pick your children up promptly at the end of the day.
If you are unable to pick up your child at 3:00pm, we now also offer a supervision service until 5:00pm. If you intend on using this service, please ensure that you include it when you book the relevant program.
Who are your coaches?
We only hire experienced coaches who have a deep understanding of public speaking and/or debating. Every coach has been handpicked for their knowledge of public speaking and/or debating, and carefully allocated to the programs that best suit their skills. Noting that our student's safety is our highest priority, we ensure that every coach has a Working With Children Check done with the NSW Government.
You can find out more about our coaches on our Coaches webpage.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Our teaching philosophy has three tiers.
Firstly, the safety of the students is paramount. We do not allow our coaches to conduct any activities unless the students are safe.
Secondly, the students need to have fun. We have no illusions that these are our students' school holidays, and that the only way they'll listen and pick up skills is by enjoying themselves. We use a range of techniques to ensure that the students maintain their attention by mixing up theory with practice, and by using games that teach public speaking without the students even realising that they're actually being taught something new.
Thirdly, the students should learn. Importantly, we believe in learning by doing - that students will only walk away with a new set of skills if they have had the opportunity to practice them. This is why we keep class sizes small - to ensure that every student has an opportunity to speak, and that every student gets ample personalised feedback so they can improve.
Why Sydney Speaking School?
Aside from our teaching philosophy being almost unique in a world of increasingly mass produced education, Sydney Speaking School (and the other Australian Speaking Schools) are organisations that have grown out of the idea that every student is able to speak in public with a little practice.
The founders of the Australian Speaking Schools mentality, Mark Slaven and Daniel Dummer, were both rather average public speakers during their school years. Both joined the debating circuit at university, and were roundly defeated in their early tournaments. It was only through perseverance and hard work that they both grew as public speakers, eventually running national tournaments, winning various other competitions around Australia and successfully representing their university and competing in championships around the globe.
The Australian Speaking Schools are what they wish they could have attended when they were at school.