Lucy Frazer MP launches primary school debating programme

PUBLISHED: 11:26 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:00 22 January 2019

Lucy Frazer MP launches her primary school debating programme at Robert Arkenstall Primary School in Haddenham. Picture: ASHLEY DURWARD-THOMAS.

Lucy Frazer MP launches her primary school debating programme at Robert Arkenstall Primary School in Haddenham. Picture: ASHLEY DURWARD-THOMAS.

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Lucy Frazer MP has launched a new initiative to get Cambridgeshire's primary school pupils debating.

Following the success of her Parliamentary Inter-School debating competition for secondary schools, which she began in 2014, she is aiming to help support primary school pupils.

Primary schools from across the constituency will take part in Ms Frazer’s ‘introduction to debating’ programme.

She said: “Having seen the positive impact of debating in our secondary schools, I wanted to find a way of introducing it at an even younger age.

“Finding a voice and having the confidence to speak out and own opinions not only boosts self-confidence but also aids participation in lessons and can be the trigger to a much more engaged and happy student.”

The programme began last week with workshops, which are aimed at Year 6 children, at Robert Arkenstall Primary School and Ely St John’s Primary School.

Following a discussion about public speaking and debating, the children took part in a balloon debate. Donald Trump, Albert Einstein and Boris Johnson were some of the personalities the pupils chose to take on.

It was followed by a more formal debate, where the motion “should you wear school uniform?” was debated by four students from each school with contributions from the floor.

Ms Frazer added: “I understand that next week’s English topic for some of the students is persuasive writing, so I do hope that some of their newfound skills in forming a constructive and compelling argument will be useful.”

Any primary school interested in arranging a debating workshop with Lucy Frazer MP for their Year 6 pupils, should email lucy.frazer.mp@parliament.uk

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