Debating Pelicans – Online

  • Experienced
  • 10 Weeks
  • Years 5 - 6

Debating Pelicans builds on the foundational knowledge developed in Debating Parrots (or our Debating Hummingbirds holiday program) and helps students take their skills to the next level.

Student to Teacher Ratio 8:1
Course Objectives
  • Give students further exposure to the world of debating, including new skills and topic area briefings.

  • Provide students the opportunity to participate in at debates almost every week.

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

View Our Coaches

Registration Closed

3 Spots Left!
Location Online Program



4:30PM - 6:00PM


28th April - 30th June


4 Weeks



Registration Closed

0 Spots Left!
Location Online Program



4:30PM - 6:00PM


29th April - 1st July


4 Weeks



Course Overview

This program is meant for students with debating experience who want to develop their skills and really thrive within the art form.

Utilising primarily ‘Policy’ based topics, this program takes an experiential learning perspective on debating.  Students will learn new concepts every session, debate almost every week (and do practice speeches when a debate isn’t possible), and receive plenty of individualised feedback throughout the program.

This course is a wonderful way for students to take on some new speaking and analytical challenges, and continue to develop their skills throughout late primary school.

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 term programs run for a single 1.5 hour session per week, for a total of around 10 weeks.

There is a short break in the middle of the session to help students concentrate for the full period, and in any event students won’t be starting at the screen the whole time either – they 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 Pelicans course is an experienced level program.

Designed for students with formal coaching in debating, we recommend that students only enrol if they have:

  • completed at least one (but ideally multiple) terms of our Debating Parrots or Debating Wombats program;
  • previously participated in either our Debating Pelicans term program or Debating Hawks holiday program, and want to continue working on their debating skills;
  • received formal training with another provider; or
  • attended a school with a comprehensive debating training program, and competed in a number of interschool debates.

Importantly, debating and public speaking are very different skills – attending a public speaking program with us, or participating in a public speaking program at school, doesn’t really prepare students for this workshop – they would be better off giving our Debating Parrots program a try.

If you’re not sure whether your child would be better suited for our Debating Parrots or Debating Pelicans program, please get in touch and we would be more than happy to discuss it with you!

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

  • revise key theory about policy (‘should’) debates and take their understanding to the next level;
  • received targeted individualised feedback and work towards individual goals;
  • deploy what they have learned during in-class debates (there will be practice debates most weeks of 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 Pelicans Online course is a modular program – this means that rather than prescribe what coaches will teach over a term, we instead give them a wide range of session that they are able to pick and choose from, depending on the skill level, experience and general preferences of the group that they are teaching.

That said, students will:

  • have the opportunity to revise the key concepts involved with ‘Policy’ debating at the beginning of the term, to ensure that everyone is on the same page;
  • participate in practice debates almost every week; and
  • be involved in a parent presentation near the end of the term to showcase their improved skills.

Our classes vary in size every workshop depending on how many bookings we receive – however, the maximum size of our Debating Pelicans 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 deeper understanding of policy style debates!
Course Reviews

My child attended his first term program with Speaking Schools Sydney and loved it. He found the way Tennyson teaches was easy to follow and fun. He looks up to his coach not just a debating expert but also a big brother who has other many talents.

As a parent, I found the coach and the Speaking School team have always been friendly and helpful. They look after each child's needs for development and engage the children very well.

Thank you Tennyson, Mark, Chris and the Speaking Schools Sydney team!

Sunny, Parent Debating Pelicans

Great teachers, loved seeing how engaged the teachers were and hearing the warm, positive feedback they gave participants presenting to parents on the final day.

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

  • Felt their child had fun

  • Believed their child's confidence improved

  • Thought their child's speech structure improved

  • Said their child's manner improved