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 2018-2019

Below are the motions for this academic year. Your class will not be debating all motions. Your local education centre will advise which motions your class will be debating 

  1. Climate change is not our problem
  2. Genetically modified food is essential in the fight against world hunger
  3. To be serious about climate change is to give up eating meat
  4. People should be fined for not recycling
  5. Irish youth are doing their fair share to end poverty and hunger in the developing world
  6. The Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved by 2030
  7. Food waste should be made illegal
  8. We shouldn’t have water charges in Ireland
  9. Ireland should do away with cars
  10. Today’s children will inherit a better world

To help you get started, download our list of tips and research links here.

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.