Volunteer Bulletin March 2022

A month of firsts | Post-floods curriculum change | At the Seniors Expo | Report on your lesson |

Dear volunteer,

The majority of our schools have returned to ethics this term, though the number postponing till Term 2 is much larger than it would usually be. Covid continues to put stresses on school staff and we appreciate that our volunteers are responding flexibly and doing all you can to minimise those stresses.

We also know that many of you, especially parents with school-aged children, are being directly impacted by Covid too – multiple children testing positive and families having to isolate is playing havoc with your work and volunteering schedules (as well as putting many personal demands on you).

We also send our best wishes to those of you impacted by floods a few weeks ago – and sadly, again this week in some cases.

In the light of all of that, volunteers across the state have been amazing in getting many new programs up and running – we have a very long lists of firsts below! We have many people undergoing their training now too and hope this inspires those of you who will commence in Term 2.

Ethics firsts!

There have been many, many firsts this month – for individual volunteers and for school programs.

Clockwise from top left:

  • Pia Bedford taught her first ethics lessons – and the first ever classes in a new ethics program – at Jerrabomberra near Queanbeyan. A huge accomplishment.
  • Rachael Gunton taught her first ethics lesson to Stage 3 at Beresfield in Newcastle.
  • Boyd Burger has moved to Bardwell Park Infants School this year (in Sydney’s south) and helped to restart classes there – teaching Stage 1.
  • Christine Nassif is busy at Picnic Point Public School in Sydney’s south, teaching the first ever ethics classes, Stages 1 and 2. A stage 3 class with new teacher Murat Kilic also starts this week.

In yet more firsts, congratulations go to:

  • Denham Court Public School is a new-build school which has an ethics program in on the ground floor, with new teacher Nawfel Alfaris teaching Stage 1 – well done!
  • Laguna Public School: a new program, with Stages 2 and 3 taught by experienced teacher Rob Forsyth
  • Rathmines Public School: Kindy and Stage 1, teachers Lyndal Coote and Jan Mottram
  • Charlestown Public School: Stages 1 and 2, teachers Justina Nicholson and Alicia Hoye
  • Engadine Public School: the program has restarted after five years with new Stage 1 teacher Nicola Grant (and expecting to grow, with two more teachers currently in induction).
  • Jannali Public School: the program has restarted after two years with a team of three: Stage 3 Julie Robinson, amazing trainer, teacher and EC, Stage 2 Haydn Andrews (moved from another school) and new Stage 1 teacher Sarah Shrout [see this team in the photo below]
  • Sutherland Public School has restarted ethics after three years, with new Stage 3 teacher Anh Vo
  • Caves Beach PS has restarted ethics with Linda Wilson (Kindy) and Zoe Wright (Stage 2), both new teachers
  • Ermington West PS had their first ethics lesson at the school with experienced teacher Kathryn Tanner
  • St Marys North Public School has new teacher Natalie Edwards
  • West Pennant Hills PS resumed ethics classes after a gap of a couple of years, with experienced teacher Jessica Ranginui teaching bookend classes of Year 6 and Kindy. Jessica also teaches at Meadowbank PS (pretty impressive!)
  • Glenmore Park Public School has started ethics for the first time with new stage 2 teacher Kristyn Norman
  • The Entrance PS and Killarney Vale PS have both started back with their first classes since 2019. Returning teacher Brett Haydon reports he had great first Stage 3 lessons at both schools
  • Harcourt Public School had its first ever ethics lesson with experienced teacher Joseph Lee teaching Stage 2
  • Queanbeyan West PS has started SEE for the first time, following the sterling efforts of Regional Manager Jim Neely and experienced EC Phoebe Crane, who has moved to the area from the mid north coast. Phoebe and her husband Andrew are teaching two classes each so that all stages are covered – the school has been overwhelmed with requests for SEE.
  • Two of our new teachers have written blog posts for us about their first lessons.Zoe Wright: Teaching my first ethics class and Jan Mottram: My first lessons as an ethics teacher

    Congratulations and thanks to everyone who is teaching in these turbulent times. We love hearing about your experiences.

Let us know how your lesson went

On the day you teach you will get an email with a link to your post-class report – this will only take a couple of minutes to complete (though if you want to write a long comment, go ahead!) Now that we are back teaching, it’s important that you let us know how your class went by filling in your post-class report. Thanks to those of you who do this each week.

The report is very simple. First it confirms whether or not the lesson took place. We need that information – we need to know how many students are benefiting from the program. That info helps us direct our support to teachers (even by confirming that you personally don’t need support). It helps us appeal to donors to keep the program running. It gives us curriculum feedback so that we know what’s going well and what needs to be reviewed (remember to mention the topic/lesson you taught).

Lastly, a reminder that when you signed on as a volunteer with us, you agreed to do the report each week.

If you’re not getting the emails with links or getting incorrect data (wrong time/day/school), please let us know and we will fix it.

Primary Ethics at the 2022 NSW Seniors Festival

It was lovely to meet some current and former volunteers yesterday at the Seniors Expo at Darling Harbour.
Clockwise from top left:Kristen Edmonds, teacher at Greenwich PS, with Elizabeth Allen, Engagement and Administration Manager Primary Ethics
Joseph Lee (on right), teacher at Harcourt PS, with Diana Dagg of the Primary Ethics Classroom Support Team and Dana Semprath, Development Manager
Susan Lamont, former Coordinator at Springwood
Barbara and Barry Ford, teachers at Eastwood Heights.
Primary Ethics was at Darling Harbour again today and at Wyong Racecourse on the Central Coast.

We’ll also have a stall in Queanbeyan on Friday 1 April, Monday 4 April and Thursday 7 April. Please drop by and say hello if you’re in that vicinity.

Curriculum news

In case you missed this news, which was in Chatter (on EVIE) and in our Facebook group, in response to the floods crisis we made a change to Topic 1, Lesson 3 for Stage 2.

The ‘farmer and the apple tree’ discussion included two questions that asked students to imagine what it would feel like if they lost their home. Our curriculum team decided that in light of the floods and their impacts on students and families (and possibly some children are hearing war/refugee news too), these questions should be removed.

The new lesson material has been uploaded to EVIE. If you had already downloaded the original version, we suggest you cut out discussion questions 1 and 2.

And finally, special thanks to all the teachers who shared feedback last year on the Stage 3 topics ‘Being vain’ and ‘The structure of arguments’. Both topics are now being reviewed and revised.
Looking forward

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, our Helpdesk is here to help – please email or call (02) 8068 7752. Our Facebook Volunteers group is a good way to stay in touch and ‘meet’ other volunteers.

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