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No more debate dilemmas

Interested in holding a classroom debate or setting up a debating society, but unsure how to go about it? Help is at hand.

The "Debating in Schools" resource, available online as of yesterday, has been designed to help schools with no history of debating to set up a fully-fledged debating society. It gives tips on everything from how to structure a speech to the competitions a society might like to enter once it is up and running.

It also advises on how to involve a whole class in a debate by giving pupils roles as judges, coaches and reporters, as well as debaters.

There is a place for debate in every subject even PE, according to Rob Marrs of the English Speaking Union Scotland, who compiled the resource. "People hear the word 'debating', and if they don't think about a society they'll probably associate it with RME or modern studies or English," he said.

"We believe any subject can have a debate. In PE, they could debate about drugs in sport or footballers being paid too much. And in science, you could have a debate about GM crops (above) or stem cell research."

Who knows, the resource developed in conjunction with Learning and Teaching Scotland might help Scotland produce more world champions after Scottish teenagers won the World Schools Debating Championships in South Korea earlier this year.

* www.ltscotland.org.uk debatinginschools

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