Primary Schools State Debating Championships

For a number of years, a camp for debaters at junior secondary level (i.e. Years 9 & 10) has been held. The model for this secondary competition, known as the Junior State Debating Championships, was adapted for primary students in Years 5 & 6.

Rules of Competition:

  • Competitors should be from Years 5 and 6 attending a government public school in New South Wales.
  • Only one student may be selected per school and each student may only compete at State primary level twice.
  • Teams should be comprised of four members with each regional team exercising its discretion to include a fifth member.
  • Debates will be judged by adjudicators with primary experience who have been selected by The Arts Unit.
  • Each speaker should speak for a maximum of four minutes, with a warning bell at three minutes. A continuous bell will be rung at five minutes.

Stages of Competition:

  • The topics will only be disclosed, and decided upon, immediately prior to preparation time.
  • Teams should prepare their debates within a predetermined time limit of one hour, without the assistance of their coaches.
  • There will be five rounds of debates. At the conclusion of those rounds the top four teams will debate in the Semi-Finals. Should there be a number of teams with an equal number of wins, then the four Semi-Finalists will be decided at the discretion of the adjudicators in consultation with the State Debating Coordinator.


  • The Primary Schools State Debating Championships Trophy is awarded to the State Champion Regional Team.
  • Medallions are awarded to team members of both teams competing in the State Final.
  • Certificates are awarded to all participants.


The 2013 Primary Schools State Debating Championships took place at the Collaroy Centre from 1 - 4 December.

The winners were Sydney Region, who defeated Northern Sydney in the final.

Sydney Region Winning Team

(Left to right- members of the Sydney team, Charlotte Robinson, Maja Vasic, Marcus Borscz, Dexter Coady, Rosy Gilliat)

Regional Representative Schools

Region Schools Represented

Earlwood PS

Clovelly PS

Woollahra PS

Petersham PS

Arncliffe PS

Northern Sydney

Mona Vale PS

Beecroft PS

St Ives North PS

John Purchase PS

South Western Sydney

Georges Hall PS

Strathfield South PS

Greenway Park PS

St Johns Park PS

Western Sydney

Jasper Road PS

Metella Road PS

Quakers Hill PS

Kings Langley PS

Hunter/Central Coast

Jewells PS

Merewether Heights PS

Medowie PS

New Lambton PS

North Coast

Lismore Heights PS

Macksville PS

Grafton PS

Alstonville PS

New England

Ross Hill PS

Ben Venue PS

Armidale City PS

Quirindi PS


Sturt PS

Young PS

Yerong Creek PS

Deniliquin North PS

Illawarra & South East

Jamberoo PS

Shellharbour PS

Illaroo Road PS

Corrimal PS

Bowral PS

Western NSW

Manildra PS

Dubbo South PS

Mudgee PS

Bathurst PS


A list of previous winners of the Primary Schools State Debating Championships is available here