Year 5 Ethics Olympiad Develops Critical Thinkers

Yr5 Olympiad

In the book 'The Giving Tree', the boy uses every part of the tree to make himself happy, with the tree gladly giving of herself. Do you think this relationship was fair?

This was just one of the ethical cases that six Year 5 students had to discuss during the inaugural Primary School Ethics Olympiad. The students exhibited fairness and kindness towards school teams from across Australia and New Zealand, with over 50 schools participating.

Students competed in three 75 minute heats. King’s culture was evident in every interaction: Perseverance, humility, respect and excellence reigned on the day.

Poppie Barnes from 5PK agrees: “Judges were so eager to help Year 5s through the ethics competition, that we had judges calling in from New York and even Canada to judge it. We were so happy to be able to expand our knowledge about the judges’ countries of origin as well as find out everyone's opinion.

"Another thing about the judges was their kind heart because when they had to pick a side, they never said that one side was better than another. They would just say that they were more drawn to one side, and then they stated their justification on why they chose a certain side but they weren't harsh when the time for choosing came."

The students commented that the feedback was very helpful because they received sound advice on structuring their evidence and the strength of their reasoning and introduction. 

"Overall, the judges were so amazing in helping us during the ethics competition. We would like to start an Ethics Club at school,” said Poppy after the competition.

"Clearly, the experience was met with great enthusiasm and passion, and we look forward to next year’s Ethics Olympiad," said Mrs Elize Strachan, Year 5 Lead Teacher and a John Maxwell Certified Teacher.

The High School Ethics Olympiad is scheduled for 29 November 2021.

The Ethics Olympiad provides schools with a unique opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, collaboration and communication.

During an Ethics Olympiad students engage with each other and with students from other schools on interesting and relevant ethical questions based on the cases previously provided to schools. Students work as a team to respond to the questions and critique their own and others arguments. Judges award points on the basis of clear, concise, critical and collaborative thinking. Students and teachers report that they enjoy the opportunity to engage with each other in a framework that encourages careful considered responses to important issues.