Debate mate is a charitable organisation which provides a debate training programme for students in years 7 -10. They work alongside Russell group universities to bring mentors into schools to develop the debating skills of our pupils and run city wide competitions that the students can compete in.
There are two competitions in the year. The Urban debate league and the debate mate cup. The league consists of two competition dates during the spring term with the top two school nationwide taking part in the final in London. The cup takes place at the start of the summer term and see students from across Birmingham meeting at Birmingham University to compete against each other with an overall winner being crowned at the end of the day.
Students learn a parliamentary style of debate using a points system to find a winner. They are marked on content, structure and style.
In 2018 GDA were the top school in Birmingham and in 6th place nationally and we hope to build on this success each year.
As well as competitions we have had other exciting opportunities over the last few years. In 2017 we were invited to go to London to listen to Bill Gates talk about his foundation. We also met out MP inside the House of Commons and had our photo taken outside 10 Downing Street. In 2018 we were invited to a “front line” conference to do a show debate to promote the work of Debate Mate to the organisation. The students were very impressive in both events and have had some amazing opportunities through this club.
The club runs in school once a week from November till April every Thursday from 3.20 – 4.30. The evening competitions run from 3.30 – 6.30 and pupils must be available to take part in those.