The Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 5 and 6

Open to NSW public school students, this age division culminates in a 3-day championship camp that includes workshops with some of the state's most experienced adjudicators.

debating team

Latest news

Entries in the 2024 Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 5 and 6 have officially closed and we're beginning work on the draws. Those will be out to the teams who have entered in time for debating to kick off at the start of Term 2! In the meantime, be sure to download the 2024 Premier's Debating Challenge for Years 5 and 6 Information Guide (PDF 1.66 MB) for a really detailed look at how the challenge works. We've got a little over 1,000 teams entered this year so it will definitely be the biggest one yet. Look forward to seeing your team in action, and best of luck for a smashing year of primary debating!

Primary debating workshops

To help get teams ready for the challenge, the primary debating workshops program is back for 2024! If you haven’t been before, the days will cover all the things you need to know for primary school debating including rebuttal, arguments, definitions and speakers' roles, as well as a few games and activities and a chance for every single student to deliver a short debating speech and get some feedback. The days are appropriate for Years 5 and 6 kids of all levels from beginner to advanced, and are a great way for both students and teachers to learn more about debating and hear from the people who will be adjudicating the finals of the Premier's Debating Challenge in 2024. We'll add dates as we have them below where you can download more detailed information, and teachers can use this link to book in for one of the days.

About the competition

The Years 5 and 6 competition is the largest of the age divisions in the Premier's Debating Challenge. It began in 1995 when the Hunter region issued a challenge to the other regions of NSW to send their best primary school team to a championships in Newcastle, which is why to this day the state champion is awarded the Hunter Challenge Trophy.

Format of the competition

Teams compete in a series of one-hour unassisted preparation debates, meaning that the 4 team members of the team only find out the topic one hour before the debate, and are then given an hour without any assistance to prepare their case. Teams will be organised into zones of six or more. Each team will complete 4 debates against other teams from their zone at times and dates that suit the schools involved. Zone debates will occur from the start of Term 2 until mid-Term 3.

Once those 4 rounds are completed the team(s) with the best record will be declared zone champions and will compete in a regional knockout finals series. Following that, the 10 regional champions will attend a 3-day championships tournament at Stanwell Tops to determine the state champion. The championships will run in mid-November.