Primary school debates

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Primary school debates

Debating is fun, noisy and a great way of airing different points of view! Last year, over 400 primary schools were involved in debates nationwide. Here’s how your school can get involved. 

About debating

Primary school debating was established in Ireland in 2011. Its aim is to encourage the use of debating as a learning tool for senior primary school classes. It has since gone from strength to strength; last year, it involved over 200 schools across Ireland.

How will students benefit?

Through the experience of debating, students will:
  • Learn to speak in public and in front of their peers
  • Develop cognitive and language abilities, as well as skills in research and debating
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the global issues affecting millions of people
  • Receive a certificate of participation.

Check out students from Light of Christ N.S, Dunmore East and Scoil Mhuire N.S Gowran speaking about how they enjoyed taking part in the Concern Primary Debates.


Debates  Motions 2017-2018

The debating year runs from September to March. Motions are topical, inspiring and relevant. Here are some examples:
  1. To tackle climate change, all people should be vegetarians
  2. Children under 14 should not be allowed on social media
  3. Ireland should give more money in aid to poor countries
  4. Advertising on children’s’ TV should be outlawed
  5. The voting age should be lowered to 16
  6. Child labour in the developing world is a necessity of life
  7. Single-sex schools are better than mixed schools
  8. Young people today do not care about the problems of the developing world
  9. Teachers should be replaced by computers
  10. People should be fined for not recycling
  11. The Goal to end world hunger will be achieved by 2030
  12. Ireland is the best country in the world to live

Debates training

Teachers who would like to receive debates training from Concern should contact their local education centre. We can teach you all you need to know about the art of debating and how to teach it.

Training video

Unsure how to get your team started and what adjudicators will be looking for? Use our handy training video here in conjunction with the marking sheet to help students understand the rules and regulations while also learning how to form a speech.

Check out a full-length video of the Kilkenny/ Waterford regional final and what a Concern Primary Debate entails!

How to register

The Concern Primary Debates is run exclusively through Educations Centres across Ireland. To sign up, please see below for your nearest Education Centre and contact them for details of the competition.