Primary Ethics teacher training comes to the Blue Mountains

Listening and learning: Ethics classes are popular in the Mountains and more volunteers are needed prompting a training course in Katoomba this month.
Listening and learning: Ethics classes are popular in the Mountains and more volunteers are needed prompting a training course in Katoomba this month.

The call has gone out for any Blue Mountains resident interested in becoming a volunteer ethics teacher for primary school children, with teacher training coming to the region for the first time.

The training will take place over the weekend of April 29-30 in Katoomba – normally it occurs in Sydney.

Long-time Blue Mountains resident and retired teacher, Val McCrae, has volunteered as an ethics teacher at Blaxland East Public for six years. 

“I had a little break when I went overseas and I’ve had the occasional trip away but I would never consider giving it up,” Mrs McCrae said. “That’s quite a long time to feel motivated.”

The not-for-profit organisation Primary Ethics which runs the classes, Primary Ethics, says there are 32,000 NSW children receiving ethics education in 440 or about a quarter of NSW schools.  

Ethics runs for 30 minutes and is available for those primary school students who would normally attend ‘non-scripture’ during the Special Religious Education/scripture timeslot. In the classes, children explore a range of structured discussions on topics including laziness, being greedy and working out what is true, the organisation said.

For Mrs McCrae, it makes for interesting conversations each week.

“Ethics is just such an amazing topic really. It covers such a wide range of things. It’s always entertaining – and very satisfying. You feel like you might be having a little effect on future generations.”

Ethics programs are held in public schools across the Mountains, including Blackheath, Blaxland, Ellison, Faulconbridge, Glenbrook, Hazelbrook, Katoomba North, Katoomba, Lapstone, Lawson, Leura, Mount Victoria, Springwood, Warrimoo, Wentworth Falls and Winmalee. There are more than 50 volunteer teachers in all, but some schools, including Blaxland East and Springwood, have waiting lists because of a teacher shortage which is why a teacher training workshop is being run in Katoomba at the end of April. 

Apply at www.primaryethics.com.au or email info@primaryethics.com.au.