Fonix and other changes in our Primary Schools.

Way back in 1979 I fell in love with a woman. Her name was Miss. Babos and she was my kindergarten teacher. She was prettier than Olivia Newton John. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was immersed in phonics, a word whose very meaning made absolutely no sense whatsoever, if you know what I mean.

She would spend hours making sure that we knew that letters had sounds, and when you put a few together they made words. And by the end of the year, we were able to spring a few words together to make sentences. At that moment, my love affair with writing began. I mean, as much as it can with 50 words under my belt.

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I liked words so much that I used to write phonetically based children’s books. The plots were things that Hollywood directors could only dream of.

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I read an article on the weekend about how the National Curriculum was getting an overhaul. Phonics are coming back baby! This is because our literacy rates have been dropping of late and sometimes the old-fashioned methods are often the best.

Also affected are cuts to Indigenous studies. There will be no more Harmony Week celebrations. Instead the focus will swing back to teaching the “Christian Heritage” of our nation.

What the actual fuck? Where is the logic in that? Is this unethical?

And this is where I start to feel all kinds of stabby. Do they think we are stupid?

Mike Baird did a secret deal with Fred Nile to get the poles and wires legislation through the upper house a few weeks after the NSW state election. In return, Baird told the Department of Education to remove the ability for parents to enrol their children in ethics classes via the enrolment form. They can still enrol directly into religion classes. If they want their kids to go to ethics classes, they have to go one-by-one to the principal and ask for them.

Sneaky bastards.

I am lucky enough that Ethics is offered at the Woogette’s school and we always have an interesting conversation on a Tuesday evening about what the topic was. I believe that this alternative to religious studies should be in every primary school in the country.

I was recently contacted by the CEO of Primary Ethics, Theresa Russell, who asked me to throw my support behind creating awareness about the teaching of ethics in our primary schools, and how if we all get behind it, we can continue to raise thoughtful kids. TICK!

To learn more about Primary Ethics, please visit here. You can also ask the Principal of your school to introduce ethics classes, if indeed your school is not one of the 385 schools who are currently teaching ethics.

For those who have no fucking idea what I am banging on about, here is a little video for you.

Do you support the Primary Ethics Program?