We at ESU Scotland were very excited at being given the opportunity to host the last World Members’ Conference in Edinburgh in September 2008. Over 250 delegates from 31 countries attended.

 ESU World 2008
As well as the Debates Outreach Projects, ESU Scotland offers a number of workshops with schools.

These workshops can either be pupil-focused or teacher-focused. The workshops are half-day sessions and involve Jack Donaldson, our Head of Speech & Debate, working with groups on the school premises.

Each workshop is tailored to the exact needs of the school in question. However, in the past the most popular workshops have been:

Pupil workshops

A beginners’ workshop – A beginners’ workshop is ideal for schools that have little or no debating background or for schools that wish to embed debating at a younger age group. These workshops involve working with a group of pupils (upper limit 20). Introducing them to debating, taking them through the debate process and culminating in the pupils taking part in a debate.

An advanced workshop – An advanced workshop is designed especially for pupils that have done some competitive debating and aims to develop their skills.

In 2007 alone, we have worked with 250 pupils in such workshops. All workshops are very interactive and the pupils are encouraged to contribute throughout.

Teacher Workshops

We have also designed two teacher workshops and both have proved popular. These focus on the two main ways that debating can be used in schools - in the classroom and as an extra-curricular activity.

Classroom debating workshop – the ESU has written the Debating In Schools and one of the main focuses of these materials is how to use debating as a curricular tool. A workshop focusing on classroom debating involves an ESU staff member showing a group of teachers the various ways speech & debate activities can be used in the classroom and involves discussion of how exactly speech & debate activities are so crucial to the delivery of A Curriculum For Excellence.

Extra-curricular debating workshop – We also run workshops focusing on how to set up a debating society in schools, and how to run a debating society.

Already, many schools across the country have been taken part in workshops with the ESU. If you would like to know more, please do get in contact with Aissa Watson at the office.
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