The Art of Debate

The Art of Debate
13th – 14th February 2018

As the world’s leading platform for live debate, Intelligence Squared are keen to promote debate and public speaking skills amongst the next generation. For the fifth year running we are joining forces with the social business Debate Mate, an organisation which has had extraordinary results training school students to develop confidence through debating.

The art of debate involves mastering essential skills: the confidence to speak in public and make sense; the construction of a logical argument and the ability to read an audience’s reactions. Perhaps most importantly, the willingness to hear others’ arguments and to respond to them.
During the school holidays we run two and three day debating workshops for students in Year 5 to Year 11 to learn these skills.

In small groups, students will 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 and practice debates are complete, students will receive in-depth feedback from the Debate Mate mentors. On the final day, students can apply what they have learnt when they battle it out in a grand debate finale.

This workshop will help students improve their skills in analysis and critical thinking and give them the ability to communicate effectively and the confidence to speak up. They will make new friends and learn from some of the world’s top university debate mentors. Most importantly, they will have fun!


Course Details

Students are split into groups according to their school year 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 artificial intelligence to whether politicians are paid too little.

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.

Supporting Debate Mate

Profits from the ‘Debate Like a World Champion’ are reinvested into Debate Mate’s charitable endeavours.

For more information about Debate Mate and what they do, visit the Debate Mate website or please watch this video.

Debate Mate Ltd. is a registered UK charity no. 1121222


The Debate Mate mentors were really fun, they helped me make friends with people from other schools and speak out during the different games. I was really nervous before hand but the mentors made it seem ok to take part. I’ve made loads of new friends through the workshops- I definitely want to come back again next time!
Harry, age 10

I had such a great time! It was really great and I know I will be able to use what I learnt when I get back to school. Listening to the mentors and getting constructive feedback means I know exactly what I need to do to get better. I can’t wait to do it all again.
Annabel, age 14

I am the parent of Emily and William and I just wanted to say thank you for running such a fantastic workshop. Both were really hesitant but couldn’t wait to go back for the second day. The quality of their arguments has improved which has had a positive impact on academic performance. We’re very glad we chose to send them!

As a parent, I was really pleased to see my sons’ progress. He was more articulate, argumentative and more willing to speak up around adults.

Just to let you know Edward and George enjoyed the day enormously. George who I was a bit concerned about said it was the best day of the holidays!! Looking forward to hearing about future courses!

Thanks so much for running a fabulous course – Isabella absolutely loved it – it really has given her a burst of confidence – she will definitely be keen to join the next course.

I am the parent of Cameron and Alex. They both really enjoyed the debating course and appear to have got a lot out of it judging by the quality of their daily arguments! In fact Cameron is teaching younger children debating skills as part of his community service. I know that what he learnt with you will be invaluable. Thanks again for an inspiring few days.

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Dates: Tues 13th – Weds 14th February 2017
Times: 9.15am – 4.45pm

Latymer Upper School
King Street
London W6 9LR

We aim to hold courses during October and February half-term, the Easter holidays and in July. Further courses will be announced via our newsletter – to join the newsletter please use the sign-up form on the top-left of this page.

For more information and any questions, contact Laura La Frenais at laura.lafrenais