BATHURST South Public School has signed up to a brand new subject, with students now able to take part in weekly ethics classes.
Run by Primary Ethics, the classes offer students the opportunity to explore ethical dilemmas within a secular context.
Classes are run weekly during school term and usually last for around 30 minutes.
Students will tackle topics such as laziness, voting, being greedy and working out what is true.
The classes are run by volunteers, with four parents at the school already signed up to deliver the program.
Caro Wiggins, Catherine Tester, Amy Raveneau and Casey MacKay said the ethics classes will deliver lifelong benefit to the students.
“I think it’s a great idea and I think it’ll be a benefit as well,” Ms Tester said.
“I’m really happy that they’re going to learn how to make their decisions around ethical ideologies,” Ms Raveneau said.
The four women have undergone comprehensive training in preparation for the classes.
“It’s not providing the answers, it’s giving them skills and respectful lessons,” Ms Wiggins said.
“They’re at the early stage of working out how things work.”
Mrs Raveneau said the volunteer teachers will cover a range of issues with students to get them talking.
I think it’ll be an outstanding experience and I think it’ll help future generations.Primary Ethics volunteer teacher Catherine Tester
She said the aim was for students to discuss all sides of the issue during the classes.
“We could talk about is it OK to have animals in a zoo or is OK to be mean,” she said.
Ms Tester said the classes will provide students with “fundamental skills for critical thinking”.
“I think it’ll be an outstanding experience and I think it’ll help future generations,” she said.
Ms Tester said she was excited to be taking part in the innovative program.
“I’m fascinated with what the kids will come up with,” she said.
Primary Ethics chair Bruce Hogan said the aim of the ethics classes was to help children develop skills in ethical reasoning, critical thinking and respectful discussion, which in turn assists children to make well-reasoned decisions rather thank act out of habit or peer pressure.
Already, 32,000 students in 420 schools across the country receive ethics education.
“There are at least another 600 schools still waiting on ethics classes to begin.”
Primary Ethics’ curriculum designed for each stage from kindergarten to Year 6.
Classes occur once a week during the Special Religious Education/Special Education in Ethics (SRE/SEE) time slot.