Confidence to argue

Building year 10 pupils’ confidence to produce good spoken arguments, from the University of Oxford


Activity type: In-school workshops (online alternative available); on-campus student conference

Year group: year 10

Gatsby Benchmarks: 7


To develop year 10 learners’ confidence and capacity to make and present good spoken arguments


  • To develop skills through educational projects which encourage active learning (NERUPI P2)
  • To increase confidence in their capacity to progress onto Higher Education (NERUPI B2)

Learning Outcomes

Through this programme, learners will:

  • Be able to identify some good and fallacious types of logical constructions
  • Be able to identify and speak about a topic about which they are passionate
  • Feel more confident in voicing their arguments
  • Have improved presentation skills


Offering effective tools for Year 10 students to build students’ confidence to produce well-constructed written and spoken arguments.

  • How to structure ideas
  • Presentation skills
  • Spotting bad arguments and fallacies
  • Language fluency (linking words, pauses and connecting phrases)

Many young learners find it difficult to find the confidence to speak out on academic matters, and this confidence can adversely affect attainment and progression to higher education and fulfilling employment. Our programme offers a range of tools to support your pupils to develop key academic skills in critical thinking, creative ideation, structured responses to assessment, and authoritative presentation.

How it works


Our in-school workshops are ideal for small groups or classes due to the interactive nature of the activities. Our participants take part in tasks that get them thinking about academic-type arguments and to develop and present their own.

In exceptional circumstances, larger groups can be accomodated or an alternative online presentation presented. In these cases, the presentation activities are replaced with a quiz introducing some types of logical fallacy.

Student conference

Wednesday 30th March 2022

Our conference will offer about 100 delegates the opportunity to access additional support and training and to participate in the Confidence to Argue Challenge to create and present the best argument on a theme revealed on the day, with prizes available.

Up to 14 eligible learners per school can attend the conference. It is preferable but not essential that they have previously participated in the workshop.

If University of Oxford guidance or public health circumstances do not allow in person conference meetings on campus, an online alternative may be offered. Where possible our programmes include undergraduate student ambassadors to facilitate live encounters with higher education.

Deadline for applications: 21st January 2022


Programmes for Study Higher from the University of Oxford are open to certain eligibile schools within the region. You can see if your school can access Study Higher support. As our programmes are funded by the Office for Students to reach specific target learners who reside in areas with low progression to Higher Education (using the POLAR3 measure), we require all or a substantial number of participants to meet targeting criteria. For more info, please get in touch with your Study Higher Higher Education Liaison Officer or with the University of Oxford Study Higher team.


To book now or make enquiries, please send us an email. We can discuss your needs with you by phone, videocall or email.

Eligibility criteria apply to access our programmes.

What people say about 'Confidence to argue'


Had a better idea of how to recognise good arguments


Had a better idea of how to make good arguments of their own


Had a better idea of how to present their arguments to others


Found individual sessions useful when averaged




Pupil contacts

Our Study Higher programmes

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