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Cool to be Clever Club Debate Mate Day

Debating challenges and 'Apprentice' style product pitches were the order of the day on Wednesday 24 January, as Year 11 mentors joined with Year 6 pupils from Sheffield primary schools to take part in a full day confidence building and communication workshop led by Debate Mate as part of the Cool to be Clever Club.

The session focused on developing the key skills needed to speak confidently through debate training. The Year 11s and Y6 pupils had great fun using debating techniques to promote confident styles of public speaking and had the opportunity to reflect on how speaking confidently can have a positive impact on their life beyond the classroom – making it ‘Cool to be Clever’.  

Everyone was very enthusiastic about the workshop:  ‘I like Cool to be Clever Club because it gives me leadership opportunities and allows me to get to know the kids,’ said Monique in Year 11.  ‘It feels like you are making a difference and contributing to the community.’  

Year 6 pupils Mohammed and Lily were quick to agree: ‘We love coming to Cool to be Clever Club,’ they said. ‘The more we come here, the more confident we get!’

A collaborative programme between the Sheffield South East Learning Partnership (SSELP), the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Girls’, the Cool to be Clever Club has operated highly successfully for the last four years, and engages around forty of the most academically able pupils, from 13 local state primary schools, over a two year period.

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