Since its renaissance in 2003, the society has grown in number and achievements. Run by an elected committee or Board, the students hold fortnightly meetings to debate currents issues and prepare teams for the various competitions which we have tackled.
For a small society we have contested and been successful in a range of local, national and international events. The 1608 Debate was born in the light of the quatercentenary of the Royal Schools which was a highlight of 2008 for us all. Since then, the five schools have met annually to renew friendships and connections through team debate. The Royal School Armagh has won the Harry West Cup on four occasions to date. The Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition has seen several finalists into the Individual Speaker competition held each April at Stormont. Three times now the society has won the Best Team award. We have had an individual finalist at the All Ireland Schools Debating Final at Trinity College Dublin. Debating Matters is a UK wide competition for schools and three times we have been won through to the regional final in Edinburgh. Prior to the last Olympics, we took part in a model UN session in London where students represented Argentina, China and Malta. We also took a team to the All-Ireland EC student debate at Dublin Castle where the issue was halting the effects of climate change. The revival of the Literific Debating for Schools held at Queens University Belfast meant that we added another competition to our growing list. On an ad hoc basis, the society has taken past in Soroptimists Public Speaking Challenge, The BPW public meeting competition and the Edgar Graham Individual Speaker event
At the end of each session, the society meets to hold an awards dinner to celebrate successes and bid farewell to those members who are moving on. We now have two cups which are presented on Speech Night autumn: The Senior Debating Society Cup for outstanding contribution and Logos awarded to the winning team in our own debating society competition. This was first awarded in 2013-14 to recognise the tenth anniversary for the SDS.
The Senior Debating Society offers a variety of experiences to all senior students alongside the opportunity to expand their skills in public speaking and reasoned argument. All are welcome.