The Great Debate is a public speaking competition where students have five minutes to present their speech arguing their answer to the question.
2022 is Queen Elizabeth II platinum jubilee. As the Queen is our patron we have chosen to use her long reign as inspiration to examine some of the ways that the world has changed in that time.
The 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II has seen global and widespread changes including in: societal infrastructure, industry, rural life, the environment, and ideas: Which changes of the last 70 years have affected your local area the most?
Students may want to consider topics around: different types of employment; the houses or accommodation that people live in; the technology in people’s lives; the different types of communities that are in their area; food and eating choices; leisure activities; and what they think is important about the area they live in.
Research for this topic could include newspaper archives, local archives, speaking with older relatives or people in their community; and local museums.
Download the ‘rules’ and our ‘Public speaking guidance’ for helpful tips on preparing a speech.
The Great Debate is divided into regional heats that take place across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in the autumn, culminating in a Grand Final.
Why take part?
The competition is an ideal opportunity for students to gain valuable experience in speaking to an audience and developing their debating skills, confidence and self-esteem.
The winner and runners-up of the competition will receive a cash prize, and their school will win prizes from our sponsors. All finalists will also receive free student membership in the Historical Association.
Read our ‘Guidance for teachers’ to get an idea on how to introduce public speaking and the Great Debate to your students.
Watch our video on why you should take part: What is the Great Debate?
Once you have chosen your heat please complete our entry form for each student taking part and email it to [email protected]
Please can entry forms be submitted at least a week before the heat.
Bradford – 18 January 2022
– Bradford Grammar School
Exeter – 31 January
High Wycombe – 27 January 2022
– Pipers Corner School
London SE – 27 January 2022
– Bullers Wood School
London N – 26 January 2022 – Registration CLOSED
– Avanti House School
Nottingham – 20 January 2022
– Nottingham High School
Cambridge – 27 January 2022
– Cambridge Assessment Offices
Wirral – 2 February 2022 (NB date change)
– Upton Hall School
York – 27 January 2022 (NB date change)
– Bootham School – Virtual
Canterbury – 31 January
– St Augustine’s, Gateway Chamber – Virtual
Skipton – 20 January 2022 (NB date change)
– Ermysted’s Grammar School
The final for this year will be taking place at Windsor Castle on Saturday 26 March 2022. It is being run in partnership with HistoryExtra.com