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The art of debating

A debate is one of the most exciting aspects of learning to speak and listen, but the rules need to be clear:

* only one person should speak at a time

* listen to others - don't repeat points

* be clear on what you want to say before you ask to speak

* don't get personal - keep to the argument and don't bad-mouth your opposition...

* the Speaker's word is final!

* keep your temper - you may not agree but you must always respect others' points of view.


Introduce an issue during your literacy hour - brainstorm some starting points as a class and let the children develop their arguments in groups. Making notes with words or phrases can help them to remember the points they want to make.

ere are a few issues that most juniors would be happy to debate:

* Should we have a Queen?

* Should smoking cigarettes be illegal?

* Should we be allowed to wear trainers and or jewellery to school?

* Should girls be allowed to play football?

* Should we have sex education in primary school?

* Do sports people get paid too much money?

* Should the Government offer money to other countries after disasters?

* Should we have homework three times a week?

Lower KS2Key skills

* Structured points

* Reading with expression Upper KS2 Key skills

* Independent structuring of an argument

* Read with emotion and conviction

Lucy Stimpson is a deputy headteacher in Lambeth

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