Newsletter November 2020

Primary Ethics News | November 2020

Dear Supporter,

Primary Ethics is 10 years old today!

On 4 November 2010, Primary Ethics was established to develop and deliver ethics classes in public schools in New South Wales. This was off the back of the successful ethics class trial and the release of its evaluation and in the lead up to the legislative change that would come in December to ensure the program could be rolled out in term 1, 2011.

It was an incredibly short space of time to set up an organisation, develop curriculum and training. But with your help, we did it.

We know that many of you have been long-term supporters of Primary Ethics – donors, volunteers, organisers. And Primary Ethics wouldn’t be here without you.

Thank you.

Bruce Hogan, Chair of the Primary Ethics Board

What’s new in Ethics Education? 

With the need to cease face-to-face education in term 2 due to COVID-19, we responded with the development of digital lessons that families could experience together as part of home-based learning.

These Primary Ethics Bites, which are offered in a combination of video, audio and printed materials, have proved to be a popular way to support children to exercise their ethical reasoning and critical and creative thinking skills.

This term we have invited homeschooling families to use the resources, and we are monitoring demand to determine how we could develop the resources in 2021 and beyond. More information at

In term 3 we supported many ethics classes to resume in schools, with some additional COVID safe measures in place. More volunteers are returning in term 4, while others plan to resume their volunteering early next year. We hope to have ethics classes running in all the 481 schools that had ethics classes prior to the pandemic.

Online training proving popular among volunteers

The robust ethics teacher training program previously included online learning as part of mixed delivery that included a two-day face-to-face workshop. This workshop is now being conducted over 5 shorter Zoom sessions, and feedback indicates that participants are loving the flexibility of this delivery method, enabling more volunteers to get trained and ready for the classroom sooner. If you’re interested in coming on board, or rejoining Primary Ethics after an extended break, please apply at

Stage 4 pilot – NSW secondary schools

The curriculum for stage 4 ethics lessons is developing into a fascinating and thought-provoking program which covers topics as diverse as Life under COVID 19, Reason vs Emotion and Disgust. COVID itself has delayed the pilot but we’ve rescheduled for term 2, 2021.

The COVID topic was recently given a test run among a group of year 7 and 8 students. You can listen to an excerpt here.

Farewell and thank you Nick Greiner

Nick Greiner has made a significant contribution to Primary Ethics since his appointment as a director on our Board in 2016. We wish him well as he moves to the United States as Australia’s Consul-General in New York.

All of us at Primary Ethics have benefited from Nick’s deep business experience and his calm, supportive advice.

New IT system to launch end November 2020

Primary Ethics’ new IT system is due to launch later this month. It is designed to streamline the roles of our different volunteers and supporting staff. It’s fantastic that the rollout can occur at this significant milestone time for Primary Ethics.

Seeking communications manager

We’re seeking a full-time communications manager to take over management of emails, website, social media and general communications functions for Primary Ethics. Click here for a job description. Thank you to outgoing communications manager Heidi McElnea for the important contribution she has made over the past 6 years and we’re thrilled she is staying on with Primary Ethics as a trainer and volunteer.

Wherever you are, we hope you can make a toast to Primary Ethics today! We are also grateful for any one-off or recurring contribution, as Primary Ethics is entirely donor-driven:

Thank you for your support,

The Primary Ethics team