Practice Debates – Online

  • Experienced
  • 10 Weeks
  • Years 7 - 9

A ten week program that combines practice debates nearly every week with a range of theoretical sessions to help high school students develop their debating skills even further.

Student to Teacher Ratio 8:1
Course Objectives
  • Allow experienced students to practice their skills in debates on a range of topics.

  • Provide theory sessions on multiple topics, tailored to the interests and needs of the particular group.

  • Give students plenty of opportunities to present and receive individualised feedback.

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Location Online Program



4:30PM - 6:00PM


28th April - 30th June


4 Weeks



Course Overview

Debating is a simple concept to learn, but an exceptionally difficult one to master.  There is a lot happening in a debate – meeting burdens, keeping to a team strategy, tackling the other team’s arguments – and it takes lots of training and practice to really get your head around it all.

Our Practice Debates Online program seeks to help students grapple with all these concepts and more.

Centred in the concept of learning by doing, Practice Debates Online focuses on providing students with lots of opportunities to practice their debating skills, and supplementing this with theory sessions and debriefs that provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to develop further.

Importantly, we make sure that all classes are kept small, light hearted and non-competitive – we want to ensure that all students feel welcome and able to develop as a debater at their own pace.

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 Wombats course is an experienced level program.

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

  • previously completed one of our beginner or experienced debating programs (such as Debating Pelicans or Foundations of Debating)
  • previously participated in either our Practice Debates term program or Experienced Debating 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 Foundations of Debating program a try (or get in touch to discuss whether Debating Parrots may be appropriate).

If you’re not sure whether your child would be suited for our Practice Debates Online 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;
  • deploy what they have learned during in-class debates (there will be practice debates most weeks of the term);
  • received targeted individualised feedback and work towards individual goals;
  • 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 Practice Debates Online course is a modular program, which places an emphasis on practice over theory – 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
  • receive plenty of feedback to help them develop as individual debaters.

Our classes vary in size every workshop depending on how many bookings we receive – however, the maximum size of our Practice Debates 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 daughter had a great time and learnt her strengths, as well as what to improve on. She also learnt it's okay to be funny when she debates and to listen more to improve rebutting. A good camp for learning and fun!

Anne, Parent Experienced Debating

My daughter had a brilliant time - partly due to the rapport with the fabulous staff - and it is a great concept for kids to develop their skills!

Maria, Parent Experienced Debating
  • 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