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

The 10 best primary debating teams in the state have spent Sunday 12 to Wednesday 15 November battling it out for the 2023 title, and we have a state champion to announce. That tournament concluded with the team from Balgowlah Heights Public School defeating an equally impressive crew from Timbumburi Public School by successfully affirming 'That we should pay primary school teachers a bonus when their students' results improve across the year.' 2,000+ debates and 999 primary school teams later, Balgowlah Heights are the champs for 2023 congratulations to them and to the other 9 regional champions, including Camden South whom it should be noted were named the go-karting champions  of the tournament. That's it for 2023 we'll see you next year for what we think is likely to be the first ever debating tournament on the planet with more than 1,000 teams!

Region Champion
Hunter/Central Coast Scone Public Blues
Illawarra and South East Minnamurra Public Rays
New England Timbumburi Public Blues
North Coast Bangalow Public Green
Northern Sydney Balgowlah Heights Public Expressers
Riverina Hanwood Public School
South Western Sydney Camden South Public Chatterers
Sydney Lewisham Public Team B
Western NSW Dubbo Public Remarkable Reds
Western Sydney Kurrajong Public Kookaburras

You can still take a look at the overall draw for the state you can check that out here along with the win/loss records for all the teams and you can also download the official 2023 Years 5 and 6 Debating information (PDF, 229.27 KB) for a look at all the ins and outs of how things will run in this twenty-ninth year of the competition. Thanks to the thousand-odd teachers whose commitment to debating makes all of this possible!

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. We expect more than 900 teams will take part in the 2023 competition.

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.