A large part of WCLP’s educational initiative within the Westminster curriculum is Civic Engagement — a required course for the Fourth Form.
Actually, Civic Engagement consists of two courses: 1) Civic Engagement and Civil Discourse, which meets during the fall trimester, 2) Speech Writing and Public Speaking, which meets during the winter trimester.
The course Civic Engagement and Civil Discourse exists for three reasons.
First, through a carefully selected series of lessons, Civic Engagement seeks to help Westminster students better understand who they are and for what they stand.
Second, Westminster School feels strongly it has an obligation to teach its students, explicitly and intentionally, that they have an obligation to engage in their community.
Third, learning to engage in civil discourse is the gateway through which one engages in one’s community — one must learn to listen, one must learn to consider opposing views, one must learn to honor the conventions of courtesy and respect.
The Speech Writing and Public Speaking course exists for three reasons.
First, being trained in public speaking is an important means by which one can contribute to one’s community — a springboard from which one can contribute to a positive public discourse.
Second, through a carefully selected series of lessons, the Speech Writing and Public Speaking course at Westminster aims to familiarize students with the fundamentals of composing and presenting a speech.
Third, the Speech Writing and Public Speaking course seeks to provide Westminster students with the actual experience of preparing and delivering a speech. Further, this process involves asking each student to participate in a public speaking contest. This contest both revives an old Westminster tradition and thus affirms the idea that public speaking is a fundamental tenet of the educational process.
 Dan O’Hair, Rob Stewart, Hannah Rubenstein, “Ch. 18: The Voice in Delivery,” A Speaker’s Guidebook: Text and Reference. Sixth Edition. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015.), p. 65.