A Primary Debating Outreach project, which has been devised by Norwich School and the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), reached its conclusion in a finale at Norwich School.
Pupils from 12 Primary Schools who form part of the West Norfolk (DNEAT) group of schools took part in a series of workshops which were hosted at Colkirk Primary School, Colkirk and Whitefriars Junior School, King’s Lynn. Two pupils from each school attended each event, which included a workshop from a Parliament Outreach officer on how debating works in parliament.
Before being tasked with preparing their arguments for a final event at Norwich School, pupils were guided through a workshop on the origins of debating. A second day of workshops saw Year 10 pupils from Norwich School visit Colkirk and Whitefriars Primaries to help teams develop their arguments, and give them advice on public speaking.
Bringing primary pupils from across Norfolk together, the aim of the project was to also use debating as a tool to develop their language skills of reasoning and persuasion. Topics that were discussed ranged from “Parents Should Spend Less Time on Their Mobile Phones” and “Pupils Should Have Longer Holidays”, but the real challenge came when pupils had to argue for a topic they may not have agreed with in the first place.
Joined by family and friends in the audience, the pupils got a real experience of debating in a public forum.
The final event at Norwich School took place at the school, and was chaired by Norwich School teacher of Politics, Philosophy and Economics,and Royal Geographical Society Fellow Dr Speca.
Pupils and staff from the following schools who took part in the event are:
Colkirk Primary School, Gayton Primary School, Middleton Primary School, St Michael’s Junior School, Whitefriars Primary School, Sandringham and West Newton Primary, Flitcham Primary, West Raynham Primary, Rudham Primary, Weasenham Primary and Norwich Lower School.