Cicero Cup

a debating programme for 8-11 year olds

Develop oracy, confidence and critical thinking through our debate training and championships for pupils in years 4-6

We are delighted to announce the launch of the 2024 Cicero Cup, our debating programme for 8-11 year olds (Years 4-6).

We have over a decade of experience running the London Primary Schools Debating Championships, and major secondary school competitions like the PiXL Club’s Up for Debate programme. Now, junior schools across England can take part in our specially-designed programme which blends:

  • workshops with pupils
  • our championships in January and February 2024 (live or online)
  • staff CPD for you to develop debating at your school, no matter what your level of experience.

The deadline for entering our 2023-4 Cicero Cup has now passed. However, we might still be able to fit you in; contact to find out.

Pupil workshops

A half-day or full-day workshop for classes or year groups, from new debaters to skilled orators.

Noisy Classroom trainers will work with your students to build their skills and confidence in persuasive thinking, critical listening and analytical thinking using fun games and exercises.

For students who are new to debate, they will cover the rules and format of debate ahead of the competition so everyone feels prepared and ready to go!

Choose a silver or gold package when booking to include a workshop for your pupils.


In our championships, teams of 3 to 6 pupils represent your school. They debate in two rounds and receive expert judging and feedback. The top eight teams will come to London for a live final to decide the 2024 Junior Debating Champions. Depending on numbers, there may need to be an online semi-final to decide the 8 teams.

Our first round heats in Spring 2024 will give schools the choice to take part in person or online (on Zoom). Schools choose one heat to enter.

You can also register and record on the booking form if you would like to host a heat in your area, or if you would like to enter if new dates and locations are added.


  • Thursday 18 January 2024, 9.30-12.30pm:  Primrose Hill Primary School (Camden, London NW1 8JS)
  • NEW ROUND ADDED Tuesday 23 January 2024, 9.30am-12.30pm: Notting Hill & Ealing High School (Ealing, London w13 8HH)
  • NEW ROUND ADDED Tuesday 30 January 2024, 9.30am-12.30pm: Dulwich Hamlet Junior School (Dulwich, London SE21 7 JP)
  • Thursday 1 February 2024, 3.00pm-6.00pm: Frances Holland School Sloane Square (Chelsea, London SW1W 8JF)
  • Friday 2 February 2024, 1.30pm-4.30pm: St Stephen’s CE Primary School (Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 8LH)
  • Tuesday 6 February 2024, 9.30am-1.00pm: Bancroft’s School  (Woodford Green, Essex IG8 0RF)
  • Wednesday 7 February 2024, 10.00am-1.00pm: Upton House School (Windsor, SL4 3DF)
  • Thursday 8 February 2024, 9.30am-12.30pm: Salusbury School (Brent, London, NW6 6RG)

Online (via Zoom)

  • Thursday 25 January 2024, 9.00am-12.30pm  

Registration is now open for all of our 2024 heats.

Bespoke school network rounds

We are working with a number of partners across the UK to provide their university outreach scheme, MAT, local authority or network of schools with their own live round in their area. If you would like to find out more about hosting your own bespoke round, please email

CPD for teachers

Online briefing and handbook to help all teachers to prepare for the competition, and optional CPD so debating thrives in your school.

Briefings: A choice of dates for all the key information about the programme:

  • Wednesday 22 November 2023, 5.00-6.00pm (on Zoom)
  • Monday 27 November 2023, 4.00-5.00pm (on Zoom)
  • Wednesday 10 January 2024, 5.00-5.30pm (on Zoom) – for returning teachers

Twilight CPD: “Having a thriving debate culture in your school”: Monday 4 March 2024, 5.00-6.00 pm (on Zoom)

Optional CPD: When you register online, you can book a live twilight session for your whole staff on debate and critical oracy in the classroom, so that you can start or develop a really thriving culture of debate across your school.

The deadline for entering our 2023-4 Cicero Cup has now passed. However, we might still be able to fit you in; contact to find out.

Your Cicero Cup package

We have three main options for the competition, tailored to suit your school’s experience in debating, and how much time you have to devote to this exciting form of critical oracy over the next few terms.

Silver (£450)

  • One half-day debating workshop for up to 24 students (date to be booked between October 2023-January 2024)
  • One team in the competition (includes staff briefing and resources)
  • One teacher attending online twilight CPD “Having a thriving debate culture in your school” on 4 March 2024, 5.00-6.00pm (on Zoom)

Gold (£600)

  • All of the Silver benefits, but with a full day of workshops for either two groups of 24 pupils (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), or a full day of activities for one group of 24 pupils.

Competition only (£100)

  • If your school is already highly experienced in debating, you may want to just enter the competition heats in January and February, and have your chance to advance to the Grand Finals.
  • It is still essential that a member of staff attends one of our briefing and Q&A sessions.

In-school competition

Let us run and judge an internal debating competition for you: this can be a great way to pick your team for the inter-school heats.

  • for up to 36 pupils: £400
  • for up to 54 pupils: £600
  • for up to 108 pupils: £800

The deadline for entering our 2023-4 Cicero Cup has now passed. However, we might still be able to fit you in; contact to find out.

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