An elephant stretching its back legs out and raising its trunk to the sky

Born Free's Great Debate



The aim of this free programme is to provide teachers with the tools to engage their students in meaningful debate about key wildlife or environmental topics. Students will not only gain knowledge about the debate topic, but also skills that will help them to research, frame and deliver an argument while reducing their impact on biodiversity and the environment.

Debating encourages research, reasoned argument and the application of facts, and ingrains 21st Century Skills – the 12 abilities that today’s students need to succeed in their careers during the information age (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy, flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity and social skills).

Armed with these skills, young people are more equipped to take action, such as reducing their negative impact on biodiversity and the environment, by making simple lifestyle changes, and encouraging others to follow. By engaging young people in this way on these topics, we also hope to develop the skills necessary for them to get their voices heard.

Take a look at our Great Debate topics:

Hundreds of plastic bottles discarded on a beach

Topic 1: Plastics

We ask students to consider the impact of plastics on environmental, wildlife and human health.
Cocoa beans hanging on a tree

Topic 2: Chocolate

We ask students to consider how actions can have global consequences and how we can make more sustainable choices.
A row of dairy cattle

Topic 3: Cattle Farming

We ask students to consider the impacts of cattle farming on our planet and wildlife, and look at future sustainability.
A panoramic view of a rainforest covered with mist

Topic 4: Climate Change

We ask students to consider whether wildlife is vital in our fight against climate change.
An image showing a pile of denim jeans

Topic 5: Overconsumption

We ask students to consider whether our consumer habits are at the heart of the planet’s environmental crisis.