Sixth Form students took the opportunity to support primary school children in the run-up to Christmas, stepping up as student leaders for the Arbourthorne and Gleadless Primary Schools Federation Debate Mate day on December 7th.

Debate Mate is an international charity that focuses on improving the confidence of disadvantaged young people, giving them interpersonal communication skills through peer-to-peer debate mentoring. The charity delivered a workshop focusing on the key skills needed to speak confidently, both in debates and in day-to-day life, having a positive impact beyond the classroom.

The day was jam-packed with five sessions, including speaking with confidence and learning how to make a convincing argument, presenting ideas with style, responding to challenges and thinking quickly, and structuring an argument. Students were eager for the final challenge of the day, with a final debate putting their newfound skills into practice.

Demi, one of the pupils taking part in the workshop, had a rewarding experience and said, "I really enjoyed working with students from Sheffield Girls' - they helped me develop my confidence and by the end of the day I felt brave enough to speak in front of everyone."

Student leader Sakshi had an equally enriching time: "Spending just a day with the primary school students of Arbourthorne school and seeing them quickly develop confidence and key skills, while enjoying themselves at the same time, was so rewarding! To be able to give a day out of our lives towards helping pupils who do not have the same opportunities as we do truly felt like a really eye opening experience. I would highly recommend taking part to anyone considering doing so as you will not regret it!'

The children had an amazing time and are excited to take what they’ve learned from the Sixth Form leaders into the new year.