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Banks Road Primary School

We can do it!

Banks Road, Liverpool, Merseyside, L19 8JZ


Debate Academy

After School Club

Working in partnership with Debate Academy, Year 5 and Year 6 children have the opportunity to take part in a fun, inclusive and ultra-competitive 12-week after school club!

Aiming to give children a voice and develop their confidence, communication and language, children take part in a series of after school battles where one-hour quick fire debates make every child think on their feet!

But that's not it. To conclude the 12 weeks of debating, all children also have the opportunity to take part in their very own inter-school debating tournament, which is held at Liverpool University! 

Keep an eye out below for weekly updates of what the Banks Road Debaters have been up to...

Lesson 1

Firstly, the children played a game called Balloon Debate. In this game, the children pretended that they were in a hot air balloon which is losing height rapidly and will soon crash because it is overweight! The decision had to be made: which five passengers were the children going to get rid of and why? The aim of this game is for the children to come up with a really convincing reason or ‘point’ as to why they should stay in the balloon.

The children then ran a debate to discuss whether or not, ‘This House believes children should be allowed to elect their own teachers?’.

The children worked in groups and came up with reason either for or against. Once they had their ideas down on paper, the debate started! This was a fantastic debate with very mixed views and reasoning.

Lesson 2

This lesson was based on British Values. The children were put into groups and given the task to create their own political parties. The children then created their own manifestos, which included three sections with promises they would make if their party was elected.

The first category was Rule of Law. The children had to come up with laws that they would make if they were elected.

The second was Individual Liberty, which is based in our rights as humans. The children had to come up with what they believe to be the most important rights we have as people.

The third category was Mutual Respect and Tolerance. The children were given the task of thinking about things that we should be more tolerant and respectful of in our society.

Each group were given the roles of campaigners or voters. The campaigners moved round the tables with the aim to convince other children to vote for them. Voters stayed at their table and listened to their ideas then decided who to vote for!

Once the campaign was over, the children went to a vote and discussed how the exercise related to debating. The reasoned conversation and discussion was amazing! Well done everyone!


Lesson 3

This lesson was based on emotions and how emotions can convey a message and a meaning.

Within this lesson, the children watched two different speeches from two different politicians. When both politicians had finished, Jack from Debate Academy asked the children to tell him something they noticed about the speeches . After a few comments, he asked them the following questions:

  • How fast or slow were they speaking?
  • How loud or quiet?
  • Did they look nervous?
  • Did they move around a lot?
  • Which speech was better?
  • What was the message?
  • How did they feel watching it?

After a class discussion about tone of voices and body language, Jack explained that all of these elements are called stage presence and they are important when thinking about delivering a speech.

Jack then revealed the motion “This house believes men have easier lives than women.” "Do you agree or disagree - and why?"

The children were  asked to write a speech to either defend or oppose the motion.

Once all the children had finished, each group was given an emotion (happiness, excited, sad and shy) and they had to deliver the speech to reflect the emotion they had been given. Children were then asked to vote who had the best speech!

In the final part of the lesson, the children played Mamamoo. In this game, one person volunteers and chooses an emotion that they are feeling. They must tell the class how they are feeling but they can only use the word Mamamoo. They should use their voice, facial expressions and movement to convey to the rest of the class what they feel. The person who guesses correctly gets to stand at the front and play the game next.

To conclude the lesson, the children (with Jack in support) went on to discuss the importance of stage presence in debating and why we took part in today’s activities.


Lesson 4

This lesson focused on the question of, “What is the internet?”.

After an interesting discussion on the pros and cons of the internet age, the motion was revealed that “This house believes that, in the future, computers will replace teachers.”

With two groups of debaters decided (proposition and opposition), the children were given folders with debate materials and prompt sheets. They then spent 5 minutes looking through the folders and talking with their team about the information inside.

Children were then told that they were going to create an argument using the debate materials provided.

They spent time developing the argument in readiness for next week’s debate!

After the arguments for and against were prepared, the debaters played the game “If I ruled the world”. Children were asked to say what they would do if they ruled the world. The rest of the class then voted based on what world they would like to live in.


Well done to Amber - our Lesson 5 'Debater of the Week'!

Well done to Catherine - our Lesson 3 'Debater of the Week'!