Debating Pelicans

  • 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.

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Registration Closed

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Location Online Program



4:30PM - 6:30PM


21st July - 22nd September


1 Weeks


$400 $360

Registration Closed

0 Spots Left!
Location Online Program



4:30PM - 6:30PM


22nd July - 23rd September


1 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 weekly 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.

During the upcoming term, we will be offering our weekly programs both in-person and online.

For the most part, there is very little that separates our online and physical programs – both are interactive, cover the same theoretical concepts, and give students a range of opportunities to practice and develop their skills. Whilst some activities are different between the two, as some activities lend themselves better to physical or online classes, the actual learning outcomes remain the same for both classes.

Importantly, the difference in price isn’t an indication of the quality of the program, or how much students will get out of the experience – both get the same amount of attention and care, and we’ve found some students actually develop better in an online environment.  The deviation instead is simply a result of the higher costs (such as venue hire) associated with running classes in-person.

Should you want to learn more about our online offering, we’ve got a helpful video which goes through our Debating Pelicans Online program below – stay tuned for one that explores our in-person program as well!

Whilst children appear to not be at a particularly high risk, SSA places their safety (and the safety of our coaches) as our highest priority.  This is the first tier of our teaching policy.

We generally consider the risk of transmission at our programs to be extremely low.  This is for three reasons:

  1. From a general perspective, whilst children are not immune, they do show substantially milder symptoms than adults, and appear to catch the virus at lower rates.
  2. Local transmission rates, since the curve was flattened, are now very low, and the Government is acting very cautiously in removing restrictions – most people who catch the virus are quarantined, as are any known close contacts, which has significantly limited the spread of the virus.
  3. We have put in place a range of extra protections that are constantly reviewed for best practice, and seek to keep students as safe as possible.

We have prepared our COVID-19 Action Plan which outlines the three elements we are using to keep students safe.

Whilst you are very welcome to read the Action Plan in full, the three elements are:

  1. Symptom Testing – whilst parents are instructed to not send students displaying symptoms (or awaiting test results), we will be using temperature checks and coach training to ensure that any students who show symptoms are isolated and removed from programs;
  2. Limited Exposure – there are a range of steps in place to help ensure that students (and parents) socially distance, and limit the chance of spreading the virus; and
  3. Enhanced Sanitation – hand and surface cleaning regimens are being adopted to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, we will also be continuing to offer online programs for the foreseeable future, to help ensure that parents and students who are uncomfortable with physical classes have an alternative that allows them to feel safe, whilst still receiving a quality education in public speaking and debating.

Please check out our COVID-19 Action Plan here, or get in touch if you have any questions!

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 multiple terms of our Debating Parrots or Debating Wombats programs, and have been advised to move up by their coach;
  • 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 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.

For physical classes, we’ll make an assessment closer to the end of the term as to whether we can run presentations in person – if government restrictions still prevent parents from entering the classrooms, we’ll either film their presentations, or alternatively livestream them for parents to watch from home!

Our classes vary in size every workshop depending on how many bookings we receive – however, the maximum size of our Debating Pelicans  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:

  • a feedback sheet, prepared individually for them by their coach, which goes through what they’ve improved on, and what still needs some work;
  • a certificate recognising their achievements;
  • 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

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...

  • 100%

    Felt their child had fun

  • 100%

    Believed their child's confidence improved

  • 100%

    Thought their child's speech structure improved

  • 92%

    Said their child's manner improved