Parkes East Public School is the first in Parkes to offer ethics classes

FOCUS ON ETHICS: Ethics teachers Fiona Francis (left) and Tracey Ross (right) with Parkes East Public School students Sophie (kindy) and Caitlin (Year 2) Francis and Toby Ross (Year 1). Photo: Christine Little
FOCUS ON ETHICS: Ethics teachers Fiona Francis (left) and Tracey Ross (right) with Parkes East Public School students Sophie (kindy) and Caitlin (Year 2) Francis and Toby Ross (Year 1). Photo: Christine Little

In a first for public primary schools across Parkes, ethics classes are now available at Parkes East Public School for kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 students.

Local parents were inspired, after listening to other parents from further afield talk about the ethics program that independent not-for-profit organisation, Primary Ethics, offers kindy to Year 6 children.

They are now teaching the classes in Parkes

“We heard how rewarding it was to teach the Primary Ethics curriculum from another parent, who was already a qualified volunteer ethics teacher,” said Tracey Ross, a parent at Parkes East Public School and one of its two new ethics teachers.

“After discussion with the P&C and the principal, another parent Fiona Francis and I decided to sign up for the free training course in November last year, as it was being held in Millthorpe.”

Currently 15 children attend the weekly half-hour ethics classes in kindergarten and 13 students in Year 1 and 2, with lots of interest and support from parents and the school for the program.

A volunteer is sought to teach the children in Years 3 and 4 and the plan is to expand the program to Years 5 and 6 as the children grow older.

“The children are very eager to join in and think through problems and issues even at this early stage,” Tracey said.

“Every class is different and listening to the children’s ideas and thoughts is fascinating and sometimes very entertaining.”

The growth of Primary Ethics in NSW is due to the hard work of the volunteers – often parents, grandparents and community members – who have a little spare time and the desire to help children learn the skills they need to make ethical decisions.

“It is a great way to become more involved in your local school community and help the next generation learn to think critically for themselves and express their thoughts in a considered way,” Tracey said.

“These are all important life skills that will help our children now and into the future.”

Across NSW, around 470 public primary schools and 40,000 students participate in ethics classes each week.

Primary Ethics invites all interested parents, grandparents and community members to find out more about the program at primaryethics.com.au.