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Public Speaking Club delivers debating workshops at Stephen Freeman Primary School

Posted on: 04/03/2022

What is a debate? A debate, at its core, is presenting a subject within an integrated argument to yield the power of influencing others. Aristotle once said that the strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate. 

With the plethora of learning opportunities at DGS, on Thursday 3rd February, selected members of the Public Speaking Club visited Stephen Freeman Primary School to teach Year 4 pupils about the fundamental elements of a debate in light of their upcoming Anglo-Saxon vs Viking discussion. At the beginning of their session, it was critical to prompt the classes on the optimal way to structure and win a debate while showing respect for other people's ideas as exemplified by the DGS ethos of mutual respect, inclusivity and high expectations. Subsequently, we emulated an exuberant and engaging manner with the children to provoke their curiosity and answer their questions during the discussions. The session concluded with an ‘incredibly controversial topic’ for children of the ages of 8 and 9: whether cats were better than dogs which proved to be such a talking point that the debate was still raging between students hours later! The students ultimately decided that dogs were better companions, which was disappointing for all the cat lovers in the room.

We were impressed by the conduct of the young people we worked with and are incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity by Mrs Minell to work with these budding future public speakers. The overall experience was incredibly rewarding because it gave us all an invaluable insight into how challenging the profession of teaching is in terms of introducing new concepts and ideas to a classroom. We now understand why teachers enjoy gain satisfaction by working with younger people.

Lily, Year 10 Public Speaking Club member

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