Centre for Ethics
junior high school centre for ethics hero

Our Centre for Ethics, a New Zealand first, is a key point of difference to the learning we offer at Dio.

Our girls make important decisions every day, so by providing them with core values and principles for life, they can go on to develop successful relationships and a strong foundation for decision-making that will inspire the respect of others.

Our Centre for Ethics was launched by patron and Old Girl, Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, in 2012, to give young women the opportunity to explore the values, issues and beliefs that underpin decision-making. Our Ethics Programme provides a space to explore cultural and social influences, the concepts of fairness, justice and legality and perceptions of right and wrong. Each year we hold our Soapbox competition which gives students the opportunity to present their own views on an ethical topic. Throughout their time at Dio, all of our girls will explore critical thinking and debating.

junior high school centre for ethics guest speakers
Guest Speakers

We regularly invite guest speakers from ethics-related fields, such as academics, scientists and journalists to inspire thought in our girls. These events help shape students’ perceptions of the world and others around them. Guest speakers are often invited to facilitate discussions and debates about ethical issues at parent and community evenings.

Pictured: Director of Ethics, Nina Blumenfeld.

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Soapbox Competition

The Centre for Ethics organises a soapbox competition each year in Term 1 for students to express their views on an ethical issue they feel passionate about and encourages them to listen to the ideas of others. Our students are given the opportunity to present their views on an issue that arouses concern for them because of its dubious ethical foundation and suggest ways in which the situation might be remedied. Examples might include:
Is it ever right to avoid being vaccinated?
Should parents be allowed to read your Facebook page?
Is it ever right to use physical violence against bullies?
Should bigots and racists be allowed to speak freely?
Should governments be able to lockdown society?

Students are urged to be respectful in their approach and sensitive to other people and responsible in their use of language.

The soapbox competition begins with Junior High students. They are encouraged to stand on a literal soapbox in the arena outside the cafeteria during lunchtimes over a couple of weeks. Then the heats continue for Senior High School students at lunchtimes in the Comm courtyard or another week. Out of about 150 students, semi-finalists are chosen, and from here about three Junior High and three Senior High students are chosen to speak at the final. This is an enjoyable occasion when students from Year 6 upwards and teachers listen to the finalists and enjoy impromptu soapbox rants from teachers.

Some of our events...

junior high school centre for ethics eat my lunch
Eat My Lunch event
junior high school centre for ethics gallery
Eat My Lunch event
junior high school centre for ethics gallery
Ethics Dinner

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