St Xaviers SNS (right) debates winners and St Kevin’s Girls School (left) are the runners up in the Dublin Concern Primary Debates Final Photo: Claire Marshall/ Concern Worldwide.St Xaviers SNS (right) debates winners and St Kevin’s Girls School (left) are the runners up in the Dublin Concern Primary Debates Final Photo: Claire Marshall/ Concern Worldwide.St Xaviers SNS (right) debates winners and St Kevin’s Girls School (left) are the runners up in the Dublin Concern Primary Debates Final Photo: Claire Marshall/ Concern Worldwide.

Primary school debates

Primary school debates

The Concern Primary Debates is a fun educational programme aimed at senior primary students.

Victory for Donegal school

Over 110 primary schools took part in the Concern Primary Debates this year and a village in Donegal is celebrating after its primary school children won the new national debating competition.

Fifth and sixth class pupils from Scoil Cholmcille in Kilmacrennan, Donegal won the final of the inaugural All Ireland Concern Primary Debates.

The champions successfully argued for the motion that “GM Crops are key to ending world hunger” in their clash with Scoil Bhride from Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny on June 18th. 

Concern Primary Debates was set up to encourage awareness of global issues through debates about serious world topics and to improve the level of debating skills amongst young people.

If you have any questions, please contact us below and a Concern member of staff will be in touch with further information.

The Concern primary Debates are run in conjunction with education centres across Ireland, and this year the debates are moving online due to social distancing. We have free downloadable resources to get your class started and the list of motions for 2020-21 below.

Please note that all registrations are handled by Education Centres - not Concern Worldwide. Explore this section to see how to sign your class up and take part virtually.

Introductory video

Watch the video below for a quick introduction to the Primary School Debates and see all the benefits it has to offer students.

Dublin Concern primary Debates Winners St Francis Xavier, Coolmine, Dublin 15. Photo: Claire Marshall/ Concern Worldwide.
Concern primary Debates Winners St Francis Xavier, Coolmine. Photo: Claire Marshall.
St Kevin’s Girls School are the runners up in the Dublin Concern Primary Debates Final Photo: Claire Marshall/ Concern Worldwide.
St Kevin’s Girls School are the runners up in the Dublin Concern Primary Debates Final Photo: Claire Marshall/ Concern Worldwide.

Motions 2020/21

Below are the motions for the 2020/21 academic year. Your local centre will advise you on which motions you are debating and whether your team will be proposing or opposing the motion.

Please note that once a champion has been crowned from each education centre in March, schools will be entered into the National stages of the competition and new motions will be provided.

  • The internet should be banned from schools
  • Junk food should be banned from schools
  • Children can make a big difference to the environment
  • Irish people do not care about the developing world
  • The voting age should be lowered to 16

Video training

Unsure how to get your team started and what adjudicators will be looking for? Use our handy training video in conjunction with the marking sheet to help students understand the rules and regulations while also learning how to form a speech. Please note that this video was created before social distancing. Some changes may occur in the programme this year. Contact your local education centre for more details.

Primary debates resources

Download our free Concern Primary Debates resources to help you get started. Please note that the handbook was written pre social distancing, but is still a great guide to get your students involved.

Wazeeran with her mother Subbi, Sindh province, Pakistan

Help families in Pakistan to survive a hunger crisis

  • In Pakistan the climate crisis is a hunger crisis

  • Children are being pushed to the brink of deadly hunger

  • Help us provide emergency therapeutic for malnourished children, and vital cash transfers for their families.

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