Debating Parrots

  • Beginner
  • 9 - 10 Weeks
  • Years 5 - 6

Formerly Term Debating Hummingbirds
Debating Parrots is the ideal course for students who are new to debating, or who have completed our Wallabies or Wombats Debating courses.

Student to Teacher Ratio 8:1
Course Objectives
  • Give students an introduction to the basic concepts of policy debating, including cases, point structure and rebuttal.

  • Provide students with a range of opportunities to participate in practice debates.

  • Allow students to build their confidence and practice their skills over the course of the term.

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Location Carlingford Campus



3:50PM - 5:50PM


12th February - 8th April


9 Weeks



Registrations Close 27 February!

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Location Ryde Campus



4:30PM - 6:30PM


5th February - 8th April


10 Weeks



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Location Burwood Campus



4:30PM - 6:30PM


13th February - 9th April


9 Weeks



-33.781301418631045, 151.05536503219605,Carlingford Campus
-33.81264049586363, 151.10422415161133,Ryde Campus
-33.87908769574873, 151.10597295188904,Burwood Campus

Course Overview

Formerly Term Debating Hummingbirds

Debating is an integral part of the moden co-curricula programs run at today’s schools.  Not only does debating help students develop their confidence and work as a team, but it also helps other important school skills, from critical thinking to building resilience (losing is never easy, but it’s even more difficult after giving a speech).

Our Debating Parrots program provides students with the foundations they’ll need to take part in (and hopefully enjoy) debating.  Through learning proper case theory, argument structure and rebuttal strategy, this course is a great way to prepare students for some of the new speaking and analytical challenges they will be presented with in late primary and early high school.

Our Debating Parrots course is a beginner level program.

This course assumes no particular knowledge – students are more than welcome to join the program with little (or even no) debating experience.  Everyone has to start somewhere, and there is no better time than the present.

Noting this, the program is also appropriate for students who have already completed our Debating Wallabies term program, as it focuses on ‘Policy’ style debates, rather than the simpler ‘Value’ style debates covered in that course.  We would also recommend that students who have previously completed our Debating Hummingbirds holiday program give the Debating Parrots program a chance, as it goes into more depth than the holiday programs.

In addition, this program is also appropriate for students who have previously completed our Public Speaking Parrots term program or Public Speaking Hummingbirds or Public Speaking Hawks holiday programs – debating and public speaking are very different skills, and whilst both will help develop confidence, students will definitely get plenty out of doing both programs.

That said, if your child already has already completed our Debating Hawks holiday program or our Debating Wombats term program, has formal debating training from another provider or is already receiving coaching as part of a school team, they may get more out of our more advanced Debating Pelicans program – please get in touch if you’d like to discuss what’s best for your child!

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;
  • deploy what they have learned in at least three 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!

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 one session (but usually more) 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 Parrots 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.


Parent Presentations

As with all our weekly programs, the term concludes with a presentation to the students’ parents.  This is a great way to help them develop the confidence to speak directly to adults, as well as being a good opportunity for them to showcase their new skills.

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

If there aren’t any spots left, it’s usually because we’ve hit capacity, but may also be the result of a miscommunication with the coaching college – 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;
  • a course booklet, which covers everything they’ve learned over the course of the term;
  • the speech that they prepared for their parent demonstration debate; and
  • a much better conceptualisation of what debating involves!

If you’re interested in doing another term program, we generally recommend that students attend our Debating Parrots program a few times – each term runs a slightly different program, with different approaches to the same theory and new activities, so students are very welcome to spend a multiple terms with the program.

That said, if they have completed Debating Parrots multiple times, there is no convenient option to do it a second time, or they their coach has recommended that they move up, they would be very welcome to join one of our Debating Pelicans programs.  This program changes from term to term, so students are able to participate multiple times whilst still improving their debating skills!

Alternatively, if you were looking to do an intensive holiday program, we would recommend that students give our Debating Hawks program a try. This holiday workshop teaches a range of different skills that go beyond what’s covered in the Debating Parrots term program, and changes from holiday to holiday, giving students the opportunities to develop their debating skills in new ways!

Course Reviews

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

My son loved the educational games involved in the workshop. The children were learning when they actually thought they just playing fun games!

Alison, Parent Debating Hummingbirds