Debating Wallabies

Debating Wallabies

  • Mixed Experience
  • Weeks
  • Years 3 - 4

Debating Wallabies is a great way for mid-primary students to take their first steps into the world of debating!

Student to Teacher Ratio 9:1
Course Objectives
  • Give students an introduction to the essential elements of value debates, including cases, point structure, rebuttal and persuasive speaking.

  • Focus in on a specific concept in more depth each term in a welcoming & supportive environment.

  • Provide students the opportunity to participate in a range of debates on different topics across the term.

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Course Overview

Bookings are closed for Term #2!

Please register your interest here to be the first to hear about Term #3. 

Merged with our former Debating Wolverines program.

Please note there will be no classes on Monday, 10 June 2024, for the King’s Birthday Public Holiday. This has already been accounted for in the prices. 


Key Features

  • Runs over two-hour weekly sessions
  • Designed for mixed-experience Year 3 & 4 students
  • An excellent way for students to take their first steps into the world of debating & develop their debating skills
  • Places an emphasis on practice every session, with multiple practice debates across the term
  • Follows a similar structure each week – students begin with an activity, run through a new element of content and consolidate with practical speaking tasks
  • Prioritises a supportive and nurturing learning environment for all students
  • Utilises small class sizes to ensure that each student has the opportunity to speak and receive plenty of individualised feedback every session


Term Focuses

Whilst Debating Wallabies always covers the essential concepts involved in value debating – cases, arguments and rebuttal – the focus of the program changes every term, with the following emphases for 2024:

  • Term #1 looks at how to develop Value Cases as a team;
  • Term #2 focuses on Speaker Roles and how students can best persuade their adjudicators;
  • Term #3 emphasises Policy Debate Fundamentals and how to construct cases for a novel type of topic; and
  • Term #4 hones in on Debating Arguments and how to best develop points.

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

Debates are won and lost as teams, rather than as individuals.

Each speaker has their own distinct role that they should fulfil to give their team the best possible chance of getting over the line.

In our Speaker Roles focus, students are taken through each of the main speaker roles – first, second and third – for both the affirmative and negative sides of a debate. Each role is pulled apart into its elements to help students understand not only what that speaker is meant to do, but why those techniques are considered to be persuasive for an adjudicator.

These are then tied to a range of speaking activities and debates, which (together with plenty of personalised feedback) aims to help them put these concepts into practice.

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

  • learn a range of introductory concepts and principles and how these relate to each of the speaker roles in a debate;
  • gain lots of exposure to speaking activities, which will help them build confidence and develop good speaking habits and techniques; and
  • practice their budding skills in a supportive environment, alongside peers of a similar age and ability level.

Our Debating Wallabies program is a mixed-level class for students in Years 3 & 4, and aims to help:

  • Students who have no (or little) debating experience and/or no (or little) public speaking experience;
  • Students who have already completed one or more terms of Debating Wallabies, as given the focus changes every term, students can continue the program across Years 3 & 4 with no repetition;
  • Students who have participated in any of our other Term Programs (such as Public Speaking Wombats, Presentation Skills Lions or Presentation Skills Leopards); or
  • Students who have given our holiday workshops (such as Speaking Camp Koalas or Speaking Camp Kangaroos) a go, and are looking to continue their debating journey!

We usually recommend that students continue with Debating Wallabies throughout Years 3 & 4 – there is a different focus every term, so there’s always something new for students to learn!

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

Fostering a Nurturing Class Environment

Every Debating Wallabies programme commences with the coach creating a warm and inclusive class atmosphere. They ensure that all students grasp the fundamental rules and concepts of debating, ensuring everyone, no matter their experience level, is fully informed.

The initial sessions also feature various speaking exercises aimed at honing students’ debating skills.


The Core Speaker Roles

Over the course of the term, students will cover first, second and third speakers, from both the affirmative and negative sides of a debate.

Using these roles as a lens, students will also go through fundamental skills like forming criteria, argumentation and rebuttal in a practical manner, helping them feel more comfortable with debating as a whole. These concepts will be paired with interactive activities that will be accompanied by constructive feedback so that students can apply what they are learning to gain a deeper understanding.


Practice Debates

In addition to all the theory, students will have the opportunity to participate in multiple practice debates and speaking activities during the term.  Each debate will be on a different topic, and students will have the opportunity to speak in different roles each time.


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 Wallabies 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 wants to try public speaking, our Public Speaking Wombats program teaches students all the essential skills they need to become great public speakers!

However, if you’re looking for something during a school break, you may want to try one of our holiday workshops, such as Speaking Camp Kangaroos, 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

The course is excellent for kids to build up confidence and skills to speak in front of public, my 8 year old kid gains a lot of benefits from this course, he'll definitely continue this course next year.

Debating Wallabies
Eddy, Parent Debating Wallabies

Under the circumstances with Coronavirus, I feel that the staff handled the situation very well. They kept me informed about measures put into place to safe guard and keep students at Burwood Campus safe.

The program is very well structured and delivered effectively for my twins to build on their Debating Skills. Zoom lessons were very well organized and with no drawbacks.

Thank you all for your great work with all the students!

Debating Wallabies
Connie T, Parent Debating Wallabies
  • Of the dozens of Wallabies students surveyed in 2023...

  • 94%

    had fun!

  • 92%

    felt more confident!

  • 100%

    improved their speaking manner!

  • 94%

    wanted to come back next time!

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