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Debating Pandas

Debating Pandas

  • Mixed Experience
  • 9 Weeks
  • Years 6 - 8

Debating Pandas is the ideal course for intermediate Year 6 and early high school students looking to consolidate their debating skills.

Student to Teacher Ratio 9:1
Course Objectives
  • Provide students with strong foundations as debaters, with a different focus each term.

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

  • Allow students multiple practice opportunities, and receive plenty of individual feedback.

View Our Coaches
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Bookings Close 14 August!

3 Spots Left!
Location Carlingford Campus
Day

Tuesday

Time

3:50PM - 5:50PM

Dates

23rd July - 17th September

Length

9 Weeks

Price

$540

Bookings Close 14 August!

4 Spots Left!
Location Box Hill Campus
Day

Tuesday

Time

6:15PM - 8:15PM

Dates

23rd July - 17th September

Length

9 Weeks

Price

$675

Bookings Close 18 August!

4 Spots Left!
Location Castle Hill Campus
Day

Saturday

Time

1:00PM - 2:30PM

Dates

27th July - 21st September

Length

9 Weeks

Price

$360

Bookings Close 18 August!

Location Carlingford Campus
Day

Saturday

Time

1:40PM - 3:40pm

Dates

27th July - 21st September

Length

9 Weeks

Price

$540

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Course Overview

Bookings are now open for Term #3!

Please note that Castle Hill classes will not run on 3 August 2024. The pricing has taken this into account. 

Formerly Debating Club

 

Key Features

  • Runs over weekly two-hour sessions
  • Designed for experienced Year 6 & 7 students, and mixed experience Year 8 students
  • Takes students through the fundamental skills to help them understand this essential source of personal development at a high school level
  • Helps students build critical thinking skills and resilience through learning the four crucial debating skills – cases, arguments, rebuttal and persuasive speaking
  • Provides students with plenty of opportunities to develop their skills and practice
  • Follows a similar structure each week – students begin with an activity, run through a new element of content and consolidate with practical speaking tasks
  • Strong emphasis on a supportive and nurturing learning environment
  • Small classes to ensure maximum practice time and feedback from experienced coaches

 

Term Focuses

Whilst always revising the essential elements of debating – cases, arguments and rebuttal – the focus of Debating Pandas changes every term, with the following focuses in 2024:

  • Term #1: Intermediate Cases
  • Term #2: Fulfilling Speaker Roles
  • Term #3: Argumentation
  • Term #4: Topic Analysis

While it’s recommended that students try each of these focuses, and the emphases change each year, there is no particular need to start with any of them, meaning students are welcome to join at any time!

 

More Information

Term #3 runs from mid-July to mid-September each year.

Arguments form the basis of all debates and are the bread and butter of any speech – they usually make up a substantial amount of any speaker’s allotted speaking time. However, whilst they might all seem simple at first glance, there are many different ways to deliver effective argumentation – and that’s what we dive deep on in Term #3.

In addition to looking at other concepts essential in any debate – such as cases, rebuttal and speaking manner – this particular stream of Debating Pandas focuses on devising and structuring effective practical arguments.

Students then implement these argumentation skills in a range of debates and speaking activities, all the while receiving plenty of personalised feedback to help them to continue their development.

Over the course of the term, students will have the opportunity to:

  • learn core introductory theory about ‘Policy’ debates;
  • explore case development, argument structure and rebuttal strategies, with a particular focus on practical points and stakeholder analysis;
  • deploy what they have learned in several in-class debates across the term;
  • practice different speaking roles and argue from both affirmative and negative sides of a debate; and
  • learn how to work effectively in a team environment!

Our Debating Pandas program is a mixed-level class for students in Years 6 – 8 designed for students starting out in the world of debatin as well as those with some speaking experience.

Debating Pandas caters for students in Years 6 and 7 who:

  • have completed one or more terms of Debating Parrots (or our Speak Out Hummingbirds or Debating Hawks holiday workshop) and have been recommended to move up by their coach;
  • have completed one or more terms of Debating Pandas, and haven’t yet been recommended for the more advanced Debating Club program (which is available for Year 7+); and
  • are part of their interschool debating team, or have received formal training from another provider, but are still in primary school (and so cannot yet join Debating Club).

Additionally, Debating Pandas caters for students in Year 9 who:

  • have public speaking, but little (or no) debating experience (such as completing Public Speaking Penguins);
  • have completed one or more terms of Debating Pandas, and haven’t yet been recommended for the more advanced Debating Club program (which is available for students in Year 8); and
  • are part of their interschool debating team, or have received formal training from another provider, but are still looking for more of the fundamentals (and so cannot yet join Debating Club).

We usually recommend that students do at least four terms of Debating Pandas, and especially students in Year 6, before moving up to Debating Club to ensure they cover all the essential concepts inherent to debating and feel comfortable with older students!

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss what’s best for your child!

Fostering a Nurturing Class Environment

Every program begins with the coach establishing a warm class atmosphere and ensuring all students understand the fundamental rules and concepts of debating – ensuring everyone, regardless of experience, is on the same page.

The introductory sessions also include a range of speaking activities to help students understand the essential elements of debating.

 

Fulfilling roles in a debate

Throughout the term, students will examine in depth the roles of first, second, and third speakers and the best ways to fulfil each role’s aims. They aim to comprehend each position from both the affirmative and negative angles of a debate.

Leveraging these roles as a foundation, students will hone vital skills – such as constructing cases, presenting arguments, and delivering rebuttals – through each speaker role. Each session is supplemented with a range of practical activities to make sure that students can bring their newfound knowledge to life!

 

Practice Debates

Alongside theoretical learning, students will engage in various practice debates and speaking exercises throughout the term. Each debate will cover a distinct topic, allowing students to take on different roles and enhance their speaking skills.

 

Final Presentations

Each term ends with a presentation, either to peers or parents (depending on the venue). This is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase what they’ve learned over the course of the term and continue their confidence-building journey.

Students generally spend the last couple of sessions preparing and practising their speeches for the presentation.

As a mixed-experience program, our Debating Pandas program is designed to be completed multiple times – with a different focus every term, there’s always something new for students to take away from the program!

Alternatively, if your child is in Year 6 or 7 and wants to try public speaking, our Public Speaking Penguins program teaches students all the essential skills they need to become great public speakers!

Once they feel comfortable with debating, coaches may recommend students in Years 7 or 8 (but not students in Year 6) move up to the Advanced Debating Club program, which will help more advanced students engage with more complex concepts alongside older and more experienced debaters.

However, if you’re looking for something during a school break, you may want to try one of our holiday workshops, such as Debating Hawks, Practice Debates or Public Speaking Polar Bears, which builds on the skills learned during the term.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions, or get in touch using our contact form to learn more!

Course Reviews

My daughter likes the course very much and it helps her to build up confidence! Will continue the course next year.

Debating Pandas
Ying, Parent Debating Pandas

The holiday program was really good, we continued classes during the school term and are very content with the classes,

Debating Pandas
Linda, Parent Debating Pandas
  • According to the dozens of high school term students surveyed in 2023...

  • 98%

    had fun!

  • 98%

    felt more confident!

  • 90%

    improved their speaking manner!

  • 95%

    wanted to come back next time!

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