Volunteer bulletin August 2021

Q+A with CEO Evan Hannah about returning to school | More ethics classes for adults plus trivia.2 | Meet Jarrah | More Bites |

Dear volunteer,

Last week we learnt about the plans for a staged return to schools in late October in Term 4. All schools will initially return at Level 3 restrictions, which means no volunteers can enter schools.

It’s now probable ethics classes won’t resume in schools until Term 1 of 2022.

Let’s turn this delay into a positive. This extra time is an opportunity to carefully manage our return to teaching classes, to regroup and reset our sights on a new year.

To be at our best for students we need to be ready for the new Covid-normal, which will mean vaccination for all school staff and volunteer teachers, mask-wearing, QR check-ins and taking continued care with distancing and hand hygiene.

And we’ll need to check our teaching skills are fresh and ready for the classroom. In Term 4, we’ll be offering top-up training to cover both facilitation skills and classroom management. We’ll be introducing online workshops aimed at improving your skills in supporting students who have additional learning and support needs. And our Classroom Support activities will continue.

We’ll also have sessions especially designed for our new 2021 teachers who have little or no ethics teaching under their belts.

We intend to get off to a flying start in 2022!

Join Evan for a Q+A about returning to schools

Next week our CEO Evan Hannah will be discussing what we know so far about our return to schools and answering your questions in two Q+A sessions on Zoom, one at lunchtime and one in the evening.

We’re happy to receive your questions in advance and also during the 30-minute sessions.

Please register now:

Tuesday 7 September 1-1.30pm >>

Tuesday 7 September 7-7.30pm >>

 Primary Ethics Café – more ethics for adults

Meanwhile, our series of ethics lessons for adults has been really popular. So we have more for you! Not only are the topics intellectually stimulating, but you’ve told us it’s interesting to watch and learn from the trainers as they facilitate a bunch of adults covering sometimes thorny ground.

Coming up:

Trivia.2: It was such fun, we’re going again!

Thanks to everyone who joined in the first time – this time you can register your team names and members in advance, so that we don’t have to spend time trying to untangle those knots at the start. Don’t worry if you’re coming solo – there’ll be plenty of others to team up with.

Thursday 16 September, 7pm start – we’re aiming for 1 hour of quiz and 30 minutes to announce the winners, ponder the answers and chat afterwards.

Register here >>

Bites – chew on these!

Have you checked out our alternative to lessons at school? We add new ones for K-2 and Y3-6 every week. They come as short videos or audio and also a PDF.

Lots of you have made Bites visible in your school newsletter – and that’s worth repeating or doing for the first time. We can email you a blurb and an image for you to share with your school. Contact the Communications Manager for those.

Bites! Are here >>

Introducing Jarrah Aubourg

We’ve had some new staff join us in recent months – it’s hard starting a new job during lockdown, so please make them feel welcome if you meet them online.

Jarrah Aubourg, who some of you will know as a teacher trainer, has commenced as Curriculum Manager one day a week. Jarrah’s been an ethics teacher since 2017 and a trainer with us since 2019. He’s also co-authoring the new high school curriculum. Jarrah has a 1st class Honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Wollongong and is currently doing his Masters in primary teaching.

Jarrah’s work focus is on your feedback about the curriculum. He writes: ‘Good feedback is incredibly valuable – it helps us to better understand what is working and what can be improved, so that we can provide the best possible material for students.

Each week, I carefully read through all feedback that’s given on lesson materials. With simple issues (like unclear instructions), I strive to make those adjustments as quickly as possible and upload updated materials. With other feedback (like which activities worked really well and which issues students didn’t engage with as much), I collate that information and feed it into our review cycle. Our Curriculum Review Committee meets regularly to discuss this feedback and plan lesson updates. I then get to work writing!

We deeply value your feedback and really appreciate it when you let us know what worked or could be improved. You can give feedback in EVIE using the Help & Feedback tab and as part of your Post-Class Reports.’

Looking forward

We’re still in the middle of a difficult time, with lockdown right across the state. We know that parents who are supervising home learning are doing it tough. We hope you can carve out a bit of time to stay connected with us through our online adult lessons and Trivia night. Our Facebook Volunteers group is a good way to stay in touch too.

October 1 is Australia’s first ever Ageism Awareness Day, with morning teas across the country. We’ll also be holding an online morning tea to honour our many older volunteers– watch for details in the coming weeks.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, our Helpdesk is here to help – please email or call (02) 8068 7752.

Thank you so much for everything you bring to Primary Ethics.

The Primary Ethics team