Debating Hummingbirds – Online

  • Beginner
  • 4 Days
  • Years 5 - 6

A four day introductory course (set over eight sessions) for students with no experience in debating who want to see what it is all about. A great way to ease students in and provides a solid foundation to build upon.

Student to Teacher Ratio 8:1
Course Objectives
  • Give students an introduction to the basic concepts of policy debates, with a particular focus on cases, point structure and rebuttal.

  • Provide students the opportunity to participate in various debates on different topics.

  • Allow students  to practice their skills and receive plenty of feedback to help them develop. 

View Our Coaches

Registrations Close 15 April!

3 Spots Left!
Location Online Program
Dates

14th April

15th April

16th April

17th April

Time

9:30AM - 1:00PM

Length

4 Days

Price

$190

Registrations Close 21 April!

Location Online Program
Dates

20th April

21st April

22nd April

23rd April

Time

9:30AM - 1:00PM

Length

4 Days

Price

$190

Course Overview

Debating is often a competitive activity – both conceptually, as it involves two teams competing against one another, and more generally because of its popularity, as there are often limited spaces available for students to join their school team.

This course offers students a head-start on their peers by introducing them to the necessary skills and strategies involved with debating.  Placing a focus on the fundamentals of teamwork, case development, argument structure and rebuttal, students are given a leg up in any disagreement – peer and parent alike – and are given the tools and experience necessary to flourish as a novice debater.

As with all our online programs, class sizes are kept small (a maximum of 8) so that each student can be provided with maximum support and attention, including plenty of individualised feedback from our experienced coaches.

We genuinely believe that whilst our online programs look and feel a little different, they are just as effective in helping students develop their speaking abilities.

Unlike most providers, we run all our online programs live in small classes – nothing is pre-recorded, and everything happens in real time. This means that coaches are able to adapt their teaching style to the class that they actually have, leading to the best possible learning outcomes for students.

Students are also given just as many opportunities to practice in front of an audience – whilst not physically present, students can still see all their peers’ faces on the computer screen, providing them with an audience that feels (and is) very real.  This means that students are still able to apply the theory they learn, develop their confidence, and crucially receive indvidualised feedback in real time.

If you’re still not sure, check out our video on online programs or get in touch to learn more!

All of our online intensive programs run for eight sessions over four days, with each session being 1.5 hours long, and a good half an hour break between the two sessions.

So, for example, if the program was scheduled for 9:30am to 1:00pm each day, the first session that day would be from 9:30am to 11:00am, with a half an hour break before the second session between 11:30am and 1:00pm.

Students won’t be starting at the screen all day either – they will get a short break in the middle of each session, and will be encouraged to prepare their practice speeches (at least one every session) on paper, as they would in a physical classroom setting.

Our Debating Hummingbirds workshop is a beginner level program.

The course is intended for students with minimal debating experience, and is recommended for both shy and confident students looking to cover the fundamentals of debating.  There is also no need for students to have public speaking experience – there is no assumed knowledge for the Debating Hummingbirds program.

We generally recommend that students who have done our Marsupials programs still do our Debating Hummingbirds course, before moving onto our Debating Hawks program.

If your child has some formal debating coaching and you’re not sure whether the beginner Hummingbirds or experienced Hawks debating program would suit them best, please get in touch and we’d be more than happy to discuss which is best for your child!

At the end of this programs, students should:

  • understand the basic rules and speaking roles involved in debating;
  • have developed an understanding of how to brainstorm arguments and develop a case as a team for policy debates;
  • know the best strategies to use when delivering arguments and giving rebuttal; and
  • have engaged in various activities and practice debates using topics derived from actual interschool debating competitions.

A Nurturing Class Environment

During the first session of the program, the coach will spend a substantial amount of time helping students feel comfortable within the class enrivonment, as well as ensuring that all students are across the rules of debating.  These early sessions will also involve students presenting multiple times, with the view to helping them develop their practical debating skills early on.

 

Case Structure

Students will spend at least two sessions looking at case structure.  Cases are crucial in debating – without a coherant case that all team members agree on, it becomes very difficult to persuade the adjudicator of anything.

Our Debating Hummingbirds Online program places the focus on ‘Policy’ style debates, which involves a relatively complex case structure – students will learn during the program how to properly plot out and explain these cases.

 

Arguments & Rebuttal

Students will spend at least one session looking at argumentation, and another at rebuttal.  These are two fundamental skills in debating – one involves building up your team’s case, and the other pulling your opponents’ case down.

Students are also given scaffolds and plenty of opportunities to practice these skills across the term.

 

Practice Debates

In addition to all the theory, students will have the opportunity to participate in multiple practice debates during the term.  Each debate will be on a different policy topic, and students will have the opportunity to speak in different rolls each time.

Our classes vary in size every workshop depending on how many bookings we receive – however, the maximum size of our Debating Hummingbirds Online class is around eight students with one coach.

If there aren’t any spots left, it’s usually because we’ve hit capacity – please get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do about either opening an extra class, fitting your child into the existing class, or putting you on a waitlist in case any students pull out!

By the end of each program, students will have:

  • typed feedback, prepared individually for them by their coach, which goes through what they’ve improved on, and what still needs some work;
  • a digital certificate recognising their achievements;
  • a digital course booklet (that can be printed), which covers everything they’ve learned over the course of the program;
  • the speech that they prepared for their final presentations; and
  • a much better conceptualisation of what debating involves!

Whilst we do try to keep classes relatively small, we are only able to run classes where 4 or more registrations have been received.

Course Reviews

Could not thank you more! My son had a great experience and learned a lot! With his Anxiety, I was so worried about his attendance as it can either boost his interests and confidence or destroy it. With all your consideration, support and patience (and of course professional knowledge), he had a fantastic time and would love to learn more in the future. So thank you so so much!!

Jolan, Parent Debating Hummingbirds

After missing out on selection to her school debating team, my daughter’s confidence had crashed. I had to bribe her to attend your course. On day 1, I was thrilled to see her come skipping out, elated. She enjoyed every day immensely, her confidence is restored and now she gravely tells me I’ve no hope of winning arguments with her because “I’m a debater, Mum”.

Sophia, Parent Debating Hummingbirds
  • Of the parents we've surveyed about our online programs...

  • Felt their child had fun

    100%
  • Believed their child's confidence improved

    100%
  • Thought their child's speech structure improved

    100%
  • Said their child's manner improved

    92%