At the heart of our curriculum offering at Alexandra Primary School is a determination to empower all pupils to use their voices effectively. One of the key ways in which we develop these characteristics is through teaching debating. Debating is when teams of students compose and deliver arguments around important policy issues, such as climate change or how the country should be run. In doing this we hope to benefit our pupils by improving the following:
- Speaking and Listening Skills
- Academic Achievement
What do we do?
Each year, we enter groups of children from years five and six into formal debating competitions. The independence, confidence and resilience they develop from these experiences are profound and transfer into their school and wider lives with huge benefits.
We run a Debate Mate Club for Year 5 and 6 students every Thursday after school. During these sessions we have university students mentor our pupils and deliver these sessions. Children take part in regular debates, learning the key skills required to be a confident speaker.
c) Show debates
We run in school debates where staff and parents of pupils are invited to watch live debates and vote for their winning team. The children have debated the following motions so far, “This house believes that SATs exams should be scrapped in Year 6”. As part of our World Book Week learning around the text ‘The Jungle Book’, our pupils debated the motion, “This house believes that Mowgli does not belong in the Jungle’.