Debate Mate works with Intelligence Squared, the world’s leading forum for live debate and intelligent discussion, to offer a series of bespoke two-day workshops that teach 10-18 year olds the art of debating: Debate like a World Champion.
For the past five years we’ve brought together more than 300 students over three two-day courses: they practise public speaking skills in small groups, learn to craft their arguments and take part in interactive lectures that expand their knowledge of politics, human rights, criminal law, and the crisis in our economy. Once the two days of training are up, the students battle it out and select their winners in a grand debate finale. Previous finalists have gone on to represent their school at the World Scholar’s Cup at Yale.
Learning to Speak your Mind
A rousing speech can change the course of history. Just think of Churchill’s ‘We shall fight on the beaches’ or Elizabeth I’s speech to the troops at Tilbury. It can also be a transformative and powerful tool for any young person. Learning to speak in public provides the skills to explore ideas, develop confidence and articulate opinions.
As the world’s leading platform for live debate, Intelligence Squared are keen to promote public speaking skills amongst the next generation. That’s why we are joining forces once again with the charity Debate Mate, an organisation which has had extraordinary results training school students to develop confidence through debating. As a result of their success, Sky 1 commissioned an 8-part prime-time show about their work – ‘Kings & Queens of Speech’.
The two-day debating workshops for Year 5 to Year 11, will bring students together in small groups to craft their arguments, practise public speaking and take part in interactive lectures which expand their knowledge of topics such as human rights, criminal law, and the big political issues of the day.
Once the training is done, the students battle it out and select their winners in a grand debate finale. A guest speaker will join us on the first day of the course to talk about how they have used debating in their careers. Past speakers include former Eton headmaster Tony Little, Times writers David Aaronovitch and Oliver Kamm, actor Alex MacQueen, author and television presenter Rachel Johnson and RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor.
Students acquire the skills to communicate effectively and the confidence to speak up. And most importantly, they have fun!
The Debate Mate Format
We are excited to announce that we are revamping our DLAWC format to reflect 5 years’ of experience and feedback from students and parents.
Training will be in the Debate Mate format (teams of 4) to encourage improved skills, teamwork and argumentation development, to push natural leaders, while also providing a a nurturing environment for younger, shyer students. We believe that all students, irrespective of personality type or age, will benefit from Debate Mate format. It has been proven to work across the world, and provides an excellent primer to advance to British Parliamentary style debating.
Students are split into groups according to their school year and and experience. Where appropriate, within each strand, the students will be streamed according to experience into beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Junior Stream Year 5 – 8 / Confidence, expressing yourself, public speaking, current affairs
Debating is a great way to gain confidence, develop key skills and enhance awareness of the world around us. Using energetic and interactive games, our highly-motivated mentors introduce students aged 9-12 to debating. We use debating as a vehicle to develop all of these attributes, while engaging with topics ranging from the morality of animal testing to whether footballers are paid too much.
Senior Stream Year 9 – 11 / Thinking critically, case-building, analysis, help with GCSEs
Irrespective of prior experience, learning to debate is a sure-fire way to enhance key skills, deepen knowledge of current affairs, gain new perspectives and improve academic attainment. It is in the 13-16 age bracket that schools debating really starts, and competitive debating is a very powerful way to stand out at the top schools.