Ethics coordinators: Starting ethics at your school in 2022

February 2022

Ethics classes will return to NSW schools from early Term 1. Every year, our program starts around week 2-4, depending on how each school organises the commencement of learning activities. This year will be the same – but different!

The same:

  1. It’s time to complete your own volunteer renewal in EVIE if you haven’t already – and we can see that quite a few of you haven’t done that yet.
  2. Take a look at your school’s AVL (Authorised Volunteer List) in EVIE [look in the Help Hub for a factsheet and video on how to check the AVL] and see if the teachers you expect to be there are there. Contact any who are missing and find out what their plan is – perhaps they will need a reminder to complete their renewal too.
  3. Be aware that if a volunteer wants to sit the term out (a choice Primary Ethics will support), in order to place themselves in raincheck they must have renewed first.
  4. Next, contact your school SRE/SEE coordinator to find out about plans for the SEE/SRE schedule and numbers of students. Find out about the school’s method for sighting vaccination evidence.
  5. The Department of Education says that it ‘encourages’ volunteers to take a rapid antigen test before visiting the school. These tests are not mandatory. When you are talking to your SRE/SEE coordinator, it is worth clarifying whether your school is going to supply rapid antigen tests for use by ethics volunteers and if so, how that will be organised. Most schools will not be supplying them, but we’ve heard of a few who will. Check the RATs section of our FAQs for more detail on this.

Here’s where it will get different this year in organising classes.

The most significant ‘Covid-smart’ change is the adoption of a cohort model which ensures that students learn and play only with those in their cohort, wherever possible. The make-up of cohorts will depend on the size of your school. We would expect most of them to be year-based, but that might not be the case in very large or small schools.

  • If your school is year-based and your ethics classes have generally been year-based, sorting out the timetable could be relatively straightforward.
  • If your ethics classes have previously been stage-based and the cohorts this year are year-based, you might have a more complex scenario to deal with.
  • Be flexible and work with the school around class sizes and ask your Area or Regional Manager if you are unsure.

6. Once you have the cohorts information from the school, work out what lessons you are able to offer with your available teachers and the available cohorts.

7. Create the classes in EVIEthere’s a fact sheet on the Help Hub about how to do this. 

8. Get back to your teachers with their timetable and discuss how vaccination evidence will be sighted at your school and the use of rapid antigen tests. Refer to our COVID-FAQs when necessary in supporting your teachers.

9. Contact your Area or Regional Manager if you need to talk something over in detail.

10. Thanks for all your efforts!