Foundations of Debating

  • Beginner
  • 3 Days
  • Years 7 - 9

A three day program which places the focus on learning the fundamental skills necessary to flourish in high school debating.

Student to Teacher Ratio 8:1
Course Objectives
  • Provide students with the foundations of policy debates, with a particular focus on case structure, arguments and rebuttal.

  • Give students the opportunity to participate in a range of debates on different topics.

  • Allow students to practice multiple times a day, and receive plenty of individual feedback.

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Location The King's School, Parramatta

13th January

14th January

15th January


9:00AM - 3:00PM


3 Days



-33.78610778578602, 151.02541012191773,The King’s School, Parramatta

Course Overview

Increasingly, debating is taking on a leading roll in secondary education, both as a co-curriculum and as an assessment style.  Whilst often viewed as a competitive activity – which it inherently is from certain perspectives – it is also a great source of personal development, whether it be through stronger critical thinking skills, improved responsiveness when challenged, or increased resilience in the face of adversity.

Our Foundations of Debating program provides students with all the tools they need when starting out in the world of debating. Covering everything from case development to debate prep to rebuttal fundamentals, this workshop lays down the groundwork for tomorrow’s champion debater using a combination of necessary theory with a range of practice debates.

Using a combination of small classes, a supportive environment, and our enthusiastic team of coaches, this program is perfect for early high school students looking to see what debating is all about.

Our Foundations of Debating 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 alike who 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 Foundations of Debating program.

Students who have completed our Birds debating programs – whether they be our Debating Hummingbirds or Debating Hawks holiday programs, or Debating Parrots or Debating Pelicans term programs – should progress straight to our Experienced Debating program.  However, students who have just done our Birds public speaking programs are recommended to learn the fundamentals in our Foundations of Debating program.

If your child has some formal debating coaching and you’re not sure whether the Foundations of Debating or Experienced 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 fundamental rules and concepts associated with debating;
  • know how to develop arguments and prepare a case as a team for policy style debates;
  • have been exposed to common argumentation and rebuttal methods; and
  • have participated in a range of practice debates using topics derived from actual interschool debating competitions.

Day #1

Starting off with a range of ice breakers to help students feel comfortable, the core focusses of Day #1 are the rules of debating, case structures for both the affirmative and negative, and speaker roles within a debate.  The day concludes with the students participating in their first debate, having done other debating related activities throughout the day.


Day #2

The second day reinforces the content already covered, and looks in greater depth at argument structure and rebuttal strategies.  Students will also have the opportunity to participate in at least one more debate, as well as a number of other speaking activities to help them develop their skills further.


Day #3

The workshop concludes with a day of debates (at least one, and usually two), revision of what they covered in the first two days, and at least one elective session to help the students develop even further.  Keeping student centred learning in mind, the content and structure of the day will be modified by the coach to best suit the needs and interests of their particular class.

Our classes vary in size every holiday depending on how many bookings we receive – however, the maximum size of our Foundations of Debating class is 8 students with one coach, and 16 students with two coaches.

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!

After each program, students will go home with:

  • a personal feedback sheet prepared by their coach, which goes through what they’ve improved on, and what still needs some work;
  • a certificate recognising their achievements at the workshop;
  • a booklet that includes all the concepts they’ve covered over the course of the program, as well as any notes that they’ve taken; and
  • hopefully a more enthusiastic approach to debating, and presentations more generally!

If you’re interested in doing another holiday program, we would recommend that students move onto either:

Unfortunately we don’t run any weekly term programs for high school students – that said, if you think there is demand in your area, please get in touch and we’ll see what we can do!


Course Reviews

Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed the course and advised that she would love to attend another course in the future. She said it was a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and couldn’t speak highly enough of her teacher.

After completing the course she has a much better understanding of debating, feels confident and is looking forward to competing next term.

Joelle, Parent Foundations of Debating

Took a reluctant attendee into an engaged participant - well done!!!

Rohan, Parent Foundations of Debating