VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO TEACH ETHICS
Broulee Public School is one of several schools in the Eurobodalla area offering ethics classes which commenced this year. Since 2011, children who don’t attend Special Religious Education (SRE/scripture) classes have had an option to go to philosophical ethics classes run by the charity, Primary Ethics, providing it can find and train volunteers.
Teresa Russell, CEO of Primary Ethics, says the program has had a positive start – especially in Sydney, but that they are now looking to extend the reach into many more schools in greater western Sydney and in regional NSW. “We’re now trying to let parents know what they have to do to get ethics classes started in their schools right across the state. The government isn’t providing classes, as some people think. Like the faith groups that deliver Special Religious Education in schools, Primary Ethics relies on the good will of volunteers to manage and deliver our classes. Our volunteers come from both the parent community and the wider community,” says Ms Russell.
The Primary Ethics program at Broulee Public School became a possibility when two parents, Tim Clare and Janine Hutton, volunteered to become the program’s first Ethics Teachers. Students from years 1 to 6 have been attending ethics classes since February 2014. If more volunteer teachers from the wider community can be found, then classes may be extended down to Kindy children.
Kimberley Love, a new volunteer, will be attending Primary Ethics face-to-face Ethics Teacher training in Moruya in February. “I’m really looking forward to starting teaching ethics so that my child and others like him can use this time productively,” says Ms Love.
Broulee Public School Ethics Coordinator, Anita Macartney, said that she was looking forward to seeing the ethics classes extend throughout the school for children who don’t go to scripture classes from Kindergarten to Year 6. “The children are taught to look at ethical issues from all sides and are then encouraged to make up their own minds on the issue, based on logic and sound reasons”, she says.
Anita has worked closely with Broulee Public School Principal, Sue Lowe, who says she ‘is pleased with how ethics classes have commenced at the school this year and looks forward to offering these classes again in 2015’.
Anyone interested in volunteering to be a local Primary Ethics Teacher should visit the Primary Ethics website at http://www.primaryethics.com.au or contact the Broulee Public School Primary Ethics Coordinator, Anita Macartney, on 0407 959 602.
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Attached image shows, from left, Broulee School Ethics Teachers: Tim Clare, Michelle Dolphin, Stephanie Williams, Melanie White, Kendall Barnes
All those interested in volunteering should visit the Primary Ethics website at http://www.primaryethics.com.au