Discover Debating

A comprehensive debate programme for Y5&6

Discover Debating is a free programme offered to selected schools in the East of England, London and the Home Counties, the North East of England, Wales, and the West Midlands.

Discover Debating is a comprehensive debating programme that delivers demonstrable progress in literacy and oracy in primary school students. The package of debating lesson plans, CPD for teachers and mentor support is a sustainable way to create a culture of confident communicators in your school.

Registration for Discover Debating with a January 2019 start are now open. Please sign up here.


The lesson plans use the ESU's teaching philosophy of using fun and engaging games to break down complex ideas and are supplied with clear expected attainment levels. They build your pupils' confidence and oracy skills which you'll be able to measure using our pupil attainment tracker.

Our CPD session increases teachers' understanding of oracy so that they can use and adapt the lesson plans to teach Discover Debating confidently but also sustain a culture of oracy after the programme ends.

Discover Debating also comes with expert mentor support throughout the programme to ensure an enthusiastic reception and high quality lessons.


of all of our workshops are delivered to schools and organisations working with state school pupils


Our goal is to provide a high-quality debating experience across England and Wales which is why we have two delivery models.

This is a programme open only to state/maintained primary schools. Priority will be given to schools with a high percentage of pupils who have been eligible at any point in the last 6 years for Free School Meals (FSM6) or have English as an Additional Language (EAL).


If your school is within commutable distance of one of our Mentor hubs your Discover Debating programme will start with a term of weekly hour-long sessions for your pupils led by our expert debating mentors.

At the end of the first term, a professional development training session at your school will be offered to three teachers. This training will cement their ability to understand and implement the lesson plans provided by the ESU for the remainder of the year. The training will provide a wider understanding of the place of debate in improving speaking and listening skills in the classroom.

Teachers will receive on-going e-support from the ESU. There will be a mentor-led session at the end of each subsequent term to compound the benefits.


If your school is not within commutable distance of a mentor hub, the programme will begin with the CPD training and will involve mentor support once a term.

At the end of the programme, teachers will feel equipped to implement debating within their schools independently. We provide a large bank of resources, training and experience to draw upon.

The ability to implement these skills in a host of classroom contexts will create a sustained impact. Discover Debating will in improve the oracy and literacy skills of students on the programme.


If you have any questions or queries about Discover Debating please email or call 020 7529 1564.