Long awaited report shows ethics program strong

Report coverMedia Release Tuesday 11 April 2017

UPDATE: Primary Ethics has submitted to the Department of Education a response to the report’s recommendations. View the Primary Ethics Response to SRE and SEE in NSW Government Schools Review.

Department rejects recommendations to make it easier for parents to know it’s an option.

Earlier today the Department of Education released the report of the 2015 review of Special Religious Education and Special Education in Ethics in NSW Government Schools.

The NSW Government commissioned the review in 2014 and the long awaited report was published on education.nsw.gov.au on 11 April 2017 along with the Department response to the recommendations.

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Four reasons why ethics teachers won’t give your child a treat this Easter

Ethics classes are run in NSW public schools by parents, grandparents and other trained volunteers from the school community. The classes are held in the Special Religious Education/ Special Education in Ethics timeslot, and exist as a valuable learning opportunity for children whose parents have opted them out of SRE.

In the lead up to Easter, we sometimes hear that it’s not fair that children in ethics class miss out on the chocolate eggs and other Easter-themed treats that are handed out in some of the religious instruction classes.

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Out now: PrimaryEthics@Home

For parents and carers | First edition | March 2017

2 kidsWelcome to PrimaryEthics@Home! This first edition for 2017 introduces the topics covered in ethics classes in term 1, plus gives background reading and activities designed to help further ethical discussion with your children at home.

Every day parents, families and teachers help children form their own opinions about ethical issues. Other factors, like media and culture, have an influence too. In ethics classes, children can articulate their ideas and explore ethical issues together by listening to each other, discussing respectfully and applying critical thinking skills like using reason and evidence and evaluating arguments.

Our skills based program is designed to support the important work of parents and teachers by giving children the confidence and skills to talk about ethical issues with those around them. These are important life-long skills aimed at helping children make well considered decisions rather than acting out of habit or peer pressure.

Continue reading primaryethics@home.

Parents need all options at once

Media Release Friday 10 March 2017 

Creating a level playing field for Ethics and Special Religious Education in NSW Schools.

Department of Education policy instructs NSW public primary schools to make available a weekly Special Religious Education (SRE) and Special Education in Ethics (SEE) timeslot.

Last December the Department of Education released its new guide for schools instructing them on how to manage enrolments in SRE and Ethics in the 2017 school year.

Below is the flowchart designed to explain how SRE and SEE enrolments should be managed. This flowchart is part of the support materials the department supplies to assist schools to comply with the Religious Education Policy and Special Education in Ethics Policy.

In 2017 it is not an easy process. Instead of the clear form that parents used to get that clearly showed them what the options were for their child; namely a scripture option, the ethics option or supervised free time, there is now a complicated process that creates confusion, effectively hides the ethics option and adds extra admin for schools.

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Newsletter – March 2017

Welcome to the March edition of Primary Ethics News

View the full newsletter here.

From the chair

In this edition, Bruce Hogan announces some of the schools launching new ethics programs this term and calls for equal choice for parents and carers.

New! PrimaryEthics@Home

Take a first look at the new PrimaryEthics@Home information hub for parents and carers. Sign up to receive notification of new topics.

2017 CURRICULUM REVIEW

This year our ethics teachers teach from the 2017 curriculum. This is our ‘odd year’ curriculum which is undergoing review, including feedback from ethics teachers, since it was last taught in 2015. Each stage of  the curriculum is taught in
alternate years, so that no child repeats a topic in their seven years of ethics classes.

RECOGNISING RETIREES
With 25% of our volunteers now over 60, we recognise the contribution of retirees and grandparents to ethics education. This has been recognised in the media recently too!

Win a double pass | Discounts to IQ2 Debate

The 2017 IQ2 season kicks off on March 28 with debate on the topic Political Correctness has Failed Itself. Speakers for the affirmative are Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Chris Kenny. Tasneem Chopra and Mikey Robins bring up the negative. Win a double pass or access your discount code here.

ACTIVIST? DIPLOMAT? WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?

The Ethics Centre seeks testers for a new decision-making app named Waymaker, that guides users though an ethical decision making process and gives them insight into what their ethical position is.

VIEW THE FULL NEWSLETTER HERE

SUBSCRIBE TO PRIMARY ETHICS NEWS

A little volunteering role with big returns

Media Release Thursday 12 January 2017 

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It’s not guaranteed to make a person lose weight or get fit, but volunteering to teach ethics to children satisfies a number of other common New Year’s resolutions such as learning new skills, meeting new people and giving back to the community.

Primary Ethics is seeking volunteers to teach ethics in public primary schools across NSW. The not-for-profit was established in 2010 to give parents and carers the option of ethics education for their children. Currently 32,000 children receive ethics education. Bruce Hogan, Chair of Primary Ethics, wants to see that number grow.

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Newsletter – October 2016

Welcome to the October edition of Primary Ethics news.

Whether you’re a volunteer, donor, parent, or general supporter of ethics education, we are exceptionally happy to have you on board!

In this edition, our Chair Bruce Hogan introduces our new director and new website.

We report back from Regional Training and the recent public forum on ethics education in Newcastle.

Congratulations are also in order for our volunteers, including a nomination for volunteer of the year.

Plus you could win a double pass to the next IQ2 event ‘Privacy is not for Children’ which promises to be a hearty debate.

Read the full newsletter  Add me to your mailing list.

Media Release 11 October 2016

Ready for big school: New website schools parents on ethics class option

As parents and carers around the state prepare their four and five year olds for ‘big school’, charity Primary Ethics has launched a new website to help ease the enrolment process.

Since the option for ethics classes was removed from the Department of Education enrolment form last year, it has become difficult for parents and carers to opt for ethics classes, with only a box provided in which to nominate the student’s religion. Continue reading

Census results are in!

The first official Primary Ethics Census was held in May, and the results are now in.

Thank you to every ethics teacher who submitted their data. The response rate was close to 100% which was a great effort.

An overview:

In May 2016, ethics teachers taught 32,272 children in over 400 schools. This represents 7% of NSW primary school children.

We can see from the results that 60% of schools are facilitating classes across at least three of the four stages of primary school. The stages are early stage 1 (kindergarten), stage 1 (years 1 & 2), stage 2 (years 3 & 4) and stage 3 (years 5 & 6).

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