Beyond lifts the lid on our debate topics for students, detailing how exactly you can use them in class and form time.
What are Beyond Debate Topic Packs for?
Our lesson packs serve a number of purposes. Here are three of their best functions:
1. Tutor group activities
We’ve designed our Debate Topic Packs to be a versatile tool for using during form time. As tutor group activities they offer engaging tasks for the form group, whilst allowing the tutor to be as hands-off or as hands-on as they require.
2. Familiarising young people with current affairs and hot topics
Debate Topic Packs invite students to explore and investigate current spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues as per the requirements of the Ofsted school inspection handbook.
3. Developing speaking and listening skills
The Debate Topic Packs are intended to engender discussions in pairs or small groups, as well as to encourage whole-class presentations. So as well as being suitable for use in form time as tutor group activities to develop speaking and listening skills, they can also be used as part of the GCSE English Language course to stimulate conversation and presentation skills, and to subsequently assess pupil achievement.
How do I use Beyond Debate Topics for Students?
Every week during term-time we feature a new debate topic on the Beyond homepage. You can use this featured debate topic, or equally you can explore the Beyond Debate archives to pick a topic that would suit the class interests.
Discover topical questions for free
If you’re using the featured Beyond Debate, click on the “Fullscreen” option in the top right-hand corner of the debate box, this will generate a purple slide featuring the debate topic on your screen. Project this onto the whiteboard, tell your form group to discuss / make notes on / research the question, freeze the screen, and take the register. (ANYONE can access this, you don’t have to be a subscriber.)
Use a premium subscription to access packs containing a week’s worth of work
If you are a premium customer you can also download the full Debate Topic Pack. Click the “View Resources” button on the Debate box and download the associated resource.
Typically, each Debate Topic Pack includes the following activities in relation to the topic question:
- “What Do You Think?” activity, to encourage conversation in small groups
- “For and Against” activity, requiring students to carry out some personal research
- “Big Question” activity, that asks for a presentation as a response to the topic
- “Personal Response” activity, turning the debate topic into a short writing task
How much or how little of the pack that you use is obviously up to you. In theory, the activities could constitute a week’s full of tasks, that could culminate in the “Personal Response” writing activity at the end consolidating the process, or you could end the week on a “Big Question” whole class debate as a bit of Friday fun. On the other hand, you may choose to just carry out one of the activities over the course of the week, or completely freestyle with your own teaching ideas.
Determine your own workload with flexible debate topic content
Each of the activities could be set with the minimum of teacher involvement, so if tutor time is hectic for you, then the smallest amount of coordination would be required. Alternatively, should you have a little more time on your hands, get stuck into supporting your class with conversations, investigations and presentations on these topical quandaries.
Utilise Beyond Debate topics whenever you want
We aim to produce a new Debate Topic Pack every single week during term-time. You may choose to follow our schedule and run every new topic each week, you may choose to use it as a one-off activity, or you may find that one topic can keep you going for a whole half-term. Once you’ve run your first Beyond Debate you’ll find that very little preparation is required, and that your pupils will be able to get into a rhythm with the activities very quickly.
Get involved in the Beyond Debate community!
We’re relaunching Beyond Debate in November 2021, and as part of that we’re hoping to produce a number of debate topic videos featuring the voices of young people superimposed onto animated characters for YouTube. If you would like your class to be involved by lending their voices to discuss one of the Beyond Debate topics, then please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would organise how to go about voice capturing, and what would be required in terms of permissions.
List of debate topics for students
Fancy a taste of our debate topics for students? Here are some of our personal favourites…
- Should School Meals Go Vegan? Debate Pack
- The Perfect Tea – Milk or Water First? Debate Pack
- Amazon Fires: Is It the World’s Responsibility to Help? Debate Pack
- Should Women Footballers Earn as Much as Men? Debate Pack
- Should Animal Testing for Medicinal Research Be Banned? Debate Pack
Don’t forget to read even more of our blogs here! You can also subscribe to Beyond for access to thousands of secondary teaching resources. You can sign up for a free account here and take a look around at our free resources before you subscribe too.