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Introduction to Debating

Learn the basics of debating in a nurturing environment perfect for late primary school students.


9:00am - 3:00pm

Canberra Girls Grammar School, Deakin

16 - 18 July 2018

Three days for $260

This three day introductory course is for students with no experience in debating who want to see what it is all about.  The course provides an overview of the basics of debating, and allows students to experience their first debates in a small, welcoming and comfortable group.  The course content includes:

  • an explanation of the basic rules and roles involved in debating;
  • developing an understanding of how to develop a case and brainstorm arguments as a team;
  • examining the best strategies to use when structuring arguments and engaging in rebuttal; and
  • various exercises and practice debates using topics derived from actual interschool debating competitions.

Given that most schools do not prepare primary school students for debating in high school, and given that an increasing number of high schools are only allowing a select few to benefit from their debating programs, this course will give students a head-start on their peers by introducing them to the necessary skills and strategies and providing them with a supportive environment in which to practice.

As with all of our programs, class sizes are kept small to ensure that students have ample opportunity to practice their skills and to receive regular individualised feedback from one of our experienced coaches.

If your child has already completed the Introduction to Debating course, or already form part of their school debating team, we would recommend that you have a look at our experienced primary school debating program, Debating Club, which will give them even further opportunities to develop their skills.

Interested in booking into Introduction to Debating?

Details for our upcoming courses can be found below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When do you operate?

We run programs during every school holidays, and will change which week of the break from holiday to holiday depending on venue and staff availability.

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.

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 Vulnerable Persons Check done with the ACT 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 Canberra Speaking School?

Aside from our teaching philosophy being almost unique in a world of increasingly mass produced education, Canberra 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.

Don't Be Shy

If we didn't answer all of your questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.