New ethics classes in the Hunter

Students at Morpeth and Hinton Public Schools are attending ethics classes for the first time due to the efforts of parents and community members and the support of the school.

The Primary Ethics program has been running at other Maitland area schools such as Dungog and Tenambit since 2015.

Designed for primary school aged children, the classes give children a chance to develop skills in critical thinking and in making well-reasoned decisions. Volunteers are trained as ethics teachers and they facilitate the discussion using the Primary Ethics curriculum. The next two day training workshop will be held in Newcastle on April 7 and 8.

“My kids really enjoyed their first ethics class at Hinton,” said Holly Moore, mother of Violet, 9 and Banjo, 11 who were among those to take the classes for the first time this term.

“Banjo really enjoys participating in the group discussions and hearing what everyone has to say.”

Violet added, “I liked that there wasn’t just one right answer, there could be lots of different answers, depending on the situation.”

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Ethics classes give children the chance to voice their ideas and listen to each other. Photo: Rowan Turner

The growth of Primary Ethics in NSW is due to the hard work of the volunteers – often parents, grandparents and community members – who have an hour a week to spare and the desire to help children learn the skills they need to make ethical decisions.

Morpeth Public School will introduce ethics classes for all years from K – 6 today.

“Teaching ethics is a great way to become more involved in your local school while helping the next generation learn to think critically for themselves and express their thoughts in a considered way,” said Holly Bidwell, who is a parent at the school and a recently trained ethics teacher.

“These are all important life skills that will help our children now and into the future,” added Ms Bidwell.

There are 33 schools in the Greater Newcastle Area currently offering ethics classes to students during the weekly special religious education/special education in ethics timeslot.

Primary Ethics invites all interested parents, grandparents and community members to find out more about the program at primaryethics.com.au.