Ethics classes have been available to students at Forbes North Public School for three years now. The program has been a great success with over 70 students enrolled in the program and more expected in 2016.
“At this stage Forbes North Public School is the only school in Forbes offering ethics classes and we are hoping other schools in the area will consider providing families, who do not do scripture, with a meaningful alternative,” says Tricia Greenhill, Forbes Primary Ethics Coordinator.
Since 2011, children who do not attend Special Religious Education (SRE/scripture) classes in NSW public primary
schools have had the option to go to philosophical ethics classes run by the charity, Primary Ethics.
Ethics classes are gradually making its way into the Central West with schools in Orange, Molong, Bletchington, Bathurst and Canowindra already offering ethics classes to families and their children.
The Department of Education approved ethics curriculum is available for children from kindergarten to year 6.
“In ethics classes students learn how to think logically and discuss ethical issues respectfully. Students discuss a range of topics with their peers such as homelessness, keeping promises and the treatment of living things, not to mention respect and the importance of listening to others,” says Ms Greenhill.
Ms Greenhill said Primary Ethics relies 100% on volunteers and as more families choose ethics classes for their children the need for volunteer Ethics Teachers and Coordinators increases. “You don’t need teaching experience, but you must be interested in engaging children in ethical discussion and keeping your personal opinion out of the room,” she says.
Volunteer Ethics Teachers are provided with excellent training and support, including a professional two-day course and online courses and resources. “Teaching ethics at Forbes North has been such a great opportunity for me – I feel I am making a valuable contribution to the children and the school,” says Ms Barter, one of the current ethics teachers at Forbes North Public School.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact Tricia Greenhill at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.primaryethics.com.au.