Welcome to Debating for 2017- Enrollment forms on right.

“Say what you want to say, let the words fall out, honestly, I want to hear you be brave”  Sarah Borrello Brave- a song written to encourage speaking up and having your say.

speak up

GOZONE Debating has a similiar goal, we want every young person to have the skills to speak up and contribute.  Even if you are a quiet person by nature, there will be times when you want to be heard.

Our second goal is learning how to work in a team.  Showing respect to everyone by listening, including them and allowing their ideas in.

respect and work with others

Debating has at least three parts

Manner = how you present your ideas

Matter = content, examples, facts

Method = learn the rules- completing your role

In Term 1 we work on manner and we learn the basic method and rules of debating.

Each student needs to contribute by gathering facts about their topic, working with their team to come up with ideas for their arguments, deciding which ideas to use, finding examples to prove their ideas and writing their debate for speaker 1, 2 or 3.

In an informal In-house debate, each team member presents and does their part.

We use AWARDS rather than the win/runner up model.

Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum awards are given to each team depending on how well they convince us and perform their roles.

The best way to learn to debate is to do your own work. Parent can help us find information, give us ideas, ask questions but please let students develop their own debate.

Let the adventure begin……

Lesli Grant on behalf of the coaching team- Saani Bennetts, Helene Fisher, Edward Taylor, Sonia Kaleb,  David Tehr

Comment here or call or text if you have questions

0403 266 374  Lesli Grant




Most young people want to have their say, but we know that debating builds life-long skills. Skills like working in a team, confidence, and courage to wing it when you need to !

Mon Jan 16- Fri Jan 20 there will be debating classes with good fun coaches from GOZONE Debating at Christ Church Grammar School.


Corner of Stirling Highway and Queenslea Drive, Claremont

Beginners classes for Year 5 & 6 and Year 7-9. Cost $120 dscn0992for the morning or afternoon session.

Advanced class for Year 5/6 and Year 7-9 for those who want to boost their skills to the next level.

Click on the flier here for all the details.




Welcome or glad to have you back ! Isn’t it great to have debating to look forward to as we suddenly find ourselves in winter.  Nothing like a little argument to heat ourselves up.

School and after-school classes start in week 2 so you can settle back into school first.

Enrollment forms and Fliers with dates and information in the drop down menu at the right. We must have an enrollment form immediately to ensure emergency contact details. Hard copy brought to the first class is preferred.

We’ve had the first debates. If you were new, you understand from your experience that:

  • You need more arguments next time
  • Evidence to prove or back up your ideas makes a strong case
  • You need to be ready earlier so you can rehearse
  • You CAN do this!

Be sure to gently reflect and note what went well………ask a team mate or me if its hard for you to see.  As a coach, the fact that you got up and presented your ideas as part of a team and using the rules of debating is quite an achievement.

Decide on one thing to target and develop this term.  Suggestions:

  • Research your topic- especially try to get an overview from an encyclopedia or book written by an expert.
  • Communicate with your team and decide together what the topic means
  • Rehearse, practice rebutting television ads, your brothers an sisters, anyone……But why? How do you know?

If you are joining us for the first time, you’ll join a group with a little experience to share with you.  You’ll soon feel part of it, do your best to jump in and do your part.  Find some good information about the topic, BE BOLD – good practice for debating. If you crash, its soon forgotten and wasn’t that new person courageous!!

Your coach

Lesli Grant

How will I rebutt that?

How will I rebutt that? PLC intently listening



The view from the debater’s table…audience be friendly!

Saani Bennetts making awards to Loreto Nedlands and St Thomas teams

Adjudicator Saani Bennetts announcing awards to Loreto Nedlands and St Thomas teams






The Grand Final Debates will be held on Thursday 26 November at 5:30pm.  We are hosted by Loreto-Nedlands Primary at 69 Webster Street Nedlands.

There will be 5 rooms of debate. The directions will be well posted, the site is compact and easy to navigate so have no worry about finding your place.

A special mention for all the unsung heroes like Chloe Rawson-Harris the debate captain at Loreto-Nedlands who in addition to her other duties had to change the debate she is chairing and start her preparation all over again.  This was to allow order changes in debates so teams from other schools could compete on the night.

To all the team mates who:

  • listened patiently
  • gave suggestions to their team mates
  • looked up new facts to make their talk better
  • laughed and encouraged them when their fear came to the surface.
  • showed generosity when they had to make changes

These skills were modeled and coached by their parents and teachers and we know they build the kind of character which will ensure our peaceful future.

Witnessing Year 5 & 6 students undertake the adult task of debating is an opportunity to see the first foundations of lateral thinking, determination  in the face of a challenging topic, belief in self.  Help them see what they did well, please don’t pick what they’ve achieved apart and put all the emphasis on what was missing.  We can trust that they will improve if they are allowed to try their own ideas and approaches for themselves. I’ve watched it happen over and over again for many years with hundreds of young people.

Warm regards for the upcoming holiday season, may Spirit be part of your celebration in whatever name reflects your belief.

Lesli Grant

Hope to see you back in 2016!

The topics for the Term 4 Grand Final Debates are inspired by the ABC Behind the News website and “wise sayings”.

The ABC  Behind the New team as part of the”Mental As”month have created an entertaining array of information, games, and sharing to assist with mental fitness and understanding the nature of worry.   www.abc.net.au/btn.

People such as Barbara Arrowsmith Young, author of The Woman who Changed Her Brain, link scientific discoveries and personal experience.  The outcomes of these new explorations are completely changing what we know is possible with our own brains. What an exciting time to be alive.

Teams will need to build a case which explains their interpretation of the topic as they present their arguments and evidence.  Don’t forget to use evidence and examples to create an in-depth case.

Medallions and certificates are presented in the Grand Final Award ceremony.  Perpetual Trophies will be awarded to schools according to their points average for Inter-school debates, Best chairperson and Stand out Debater Awards.  Recognition for stepping up and taking on the challenge of debate.

Term 4 Grand Final Debates

That the best things in life are free

That you learn when you lose

That laughter is the best medicine

That we should all develop our mental fitness

www.abc.net.au/btn Videos, games, survey, even a Worry machine.

I’ll post the date as soon as we can negotiate it. We hope to hold the event in Week 6 or 7.

Lesli Grant

IMPORTANT NOTICE: ORDERS will be slightly delayed in July due to staff holidays.  Usually there is a 2-3 day turnaround  in posting what you order.  Orders will ship again after 24 July 2015.

Bumper Term for Debating with GOZONE Debating

Wow, Term 2 is our bumper term at GOZONE Debating, as all the Year 7’s at St Mary’s Anglican Girls School, Karrinyup participate in a huge In-house Debate event. One hundred and fifty students in six rooms of debating on one night!

We had many debaters in that group who’ve been honing their skills since Year 5 in Junior School.  It was impressive to see many young women facing their fear of public speaking. Working with their team they found the fear was a paper tiger!!  One less challenge to face when you’re older and its HARDER.

We didn’t have any Platinums this year but there were plenty of Gold and Silver Awards.  A Bronze still means you’ve tackled the challenge of Debating and built a huge number of skills.  Few students in Western Australia have had this opportunity.

First Inter-school debates for 2015

Well done to  St Hilda’s Junior School, St Mary’s Junior School, John Wollaston, St Thomas Primary, St Paul’s Primary and Shelley Primary.

Shelley Primary is the newest school to enter our Inter-school competition, we wish them heaps of fun and success.  Rebutt everything!

John Wollaston had some Year 4 students entering the competition, we congratulate them on their courage as well as their good arguments.

What do you do about debating when it’s the term for the full-on musical….?  Have an In-house debate, keep practicing those skills and enjoy both events.  Loreto-Nedlands Primary have reaped the rewards in Term 2. They have had some GOLD awards already in the year!

Term 3 Topics

ABC/BTN You’ve done it again- what a fabulous resource you are for Debating!!!!  Excellent videos and stories at the right level for school.  Lots of links to other stories and information.  HATS OFF TO THE ABC and the BTN team. You’ve inspired my Inter-school debate topics once again. Lesli Grant

And now for the new topics for Term 3:

That Wind Power is the energy source of the future.

BTN: Wind power

That there is too much pressure at school

BTN: School pressure

That we should have new sports like Surfing at the Olympics.

BTN: New Olympic sports

That world housing needs a new approach.

Change: That we need more creative ideas for housing

BTN: Rookie reporter story- The future of housing

GOZONE Debating starts back in Week 2 Term 3.

GOZONE Debating has found some new topics to debate this term and 3 were inspired by stories on the ABC Behind the News web pages www.abc.net.au/btn.

Term 2 2015 Topics:

That the news is too upsetting.
That it’s better to solve problems on Earth than explore Mars.
That bystanders can stop bullying.
That trees are the answer.

Learning tip:  Some people find it difficult to engage with a topic until they have a bit of an overview of what its about.

4 ways to get an overview:

  • Watch a video
  • Look it up in the encyclopedia
  • Find a book about it.
  • Find something about the topic which gives a lot of information, not just a small story.

Whenever you start with a new topic you need an overview of the issues involved.  If you can find a video about it, that is a great advantage as you take in information by watching and listening.

Consulting an encyclopedia is another way to get an overview. I know that many approach wikipedia with caution but they have wonderful overviews of topics you’ll never find in the more traditional encyclopedias.  A whole table of contents which shows you all the different areas in the topic so that you can go straight to the ones that sound right for your topic.

EG “Category:Trees From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This means there are videos to view

A tree can be defined as a large woody perennial plant. Though there is no set definition of size, it is generally at least 4.5 m (15 ft) high at maturity, and with branches supported on a single main stem. Trees are important components of the natural landscape and significant elements in landscaping. Compared with most other forms of plants, trees are long-lived. A few species of trees grow to over 100 m (300 ft) tall and some live for several millennia.

This category has the following 29 subcategories.

Trees by climate? Trees by locationForests Wood Bonsai

? Documentary films about forests and trees?”

This is bound to lead you to lots of ideas about the value and use of trees.

Can’t wait to hear the arguments you come up with.

Lesli Grant

Age appropriate debating means students are encouraged to use Loreto-Nedlands Debating Team 2013their own ideas and thinking about topics. The standards allow for primary school thinking development, we don’t impose adult standards on the amazing unfolding of young minds.  The feedback from coaches and adjudicators celebrates what has been achieved and what still needs more practice or development.

Of course the logic will initially be developing, the arguments chosen will be those the student can understand and argue.  This solid ground builds inner confidence which inspires more.

Where in a modern life can a person do well without the ability to work in a team, to speak up and have confidence in their own ideas?

Primary school debating is usually an after school activity so there has to be some freedom and fun to ensure students enjoy their learning. You can trust that fun enhances learning as there is always a debate deadline to meet!     St Hilda's Junior School Debating Retiring Year 6 Team

Welcome to everyone enrolled at St Mary’s Karrinyup, St Hilda’s Junior School, PLC Junior School, Loreto-Nedlands Primary, North Cottesloe Primary or St Thomas Primary in Western Australia.

Why not get debating started at your school.  I can do a quick start program and work with a teacher to start things off.  I also offer Debating Handbooks Level 1, 2 and 3 and a DVD of primary students debating to assist you if you don’t live in Western Australia.

Win certificates for arguing and build skills that will serve you all your life.

Welcome to the 2015 Debating Program.

Possible topics for In-house debates:DSCN0650

That pets are a problem

That music can change the world

That television is boring

That Easter eggs are dangerous


Lesli Grant

Owner, coach


Welcome back to Debating for Term 4

I can’t wait to see how the students all step up and WOW us this term.

There are certificates AND medallions to win this term.

PLC will start Monday 20 October from 3:30-4:45.  Welcome to all previous students and new debaters.  Saani Bennetts will be starting you off this term as I will still be away the first week at a conference.

Loreto Nedlands starts Tues 21 October from 2:30-3:30.  This is the term when all that hard work really shows!  Helene Fisher will be starting off the process at Loreto

St Hilda’s will begin debating on Wednesday 15 October from 3:30-4:30.  Saani Bennetts will be starting you off as well.

This is a reminder that AUSSIES love their comedy…so don’t forget to consider some playful arguments in your debate this term if that’s appropriate.


Grand Final Term 4 Topics


That humans are the most dangerous creatures

Exhibit A…….fly swat…….fly spray………..Fly bomb

but then there are the carefully trained flea circuses……..giving fleas everywhere a job.

That drifting along is better than planning

Well we do have debaters who could talk the leg off a chair…..but most of you will plan something……

That people should ride bicycles

      in circuses?   to work?   for fun?

How would our roads cope with 40 more bicycles? 100?

That we are too focused on food

Do you feel hungry just thinking about this topic…..? Is this a sign…?

Could we do more with world hunger if we focused on food more?

Welcome back, looking forward to seeing you all in the second week.


After debating our introductory topics in In-house Debates, we’re starting to research our Term 2 topics:

Term 2 2014

That fantasy is better than the real world

That there should be jobs for children

That water is more precious than gold

That wild animals are better than pets

Term 3 2014

That computer skills are more important than handwriting

That night is better than day

That we should carpool and use public transport

Oops, debating topics need to be stated in the affirmative.
Thank you to one of my students for reminding me!! Hats off to Tanisha
       That Dr Who is bad for children

Grand Final Term 4

That humans are the most dangerous creatures

That drifting along is better than planning

That people should ride bicycles

That we are too focused on food


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