In a collaboration between the New South Wales Teachers Federation and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium children in kindergarten through Year Two will learn about issues such as sexuality and consent, according to the Daily Mail.
The "Love in all shapes and sizes" lesson, which aligns with the NSW syllabus, tells the story of Sphen and Magic through sex lessons documenting their five-year relationship.
The two penguins developed a "strong" and "inseparable" bond in 2018 just before the birds’ breeding season, the aquarium states on its website.
The pair of Gentoo penguins, native to Antarctica, began gathering pebbles to create a nest in preparation for breeding season, and were given a "dummy egg" to make sure they "were not excluded from the season."
"They were absolute naturals and displayed great care for their egg, so much so, the team at Sea Life Sydney fostered a real egg to them from another couple who had two," the aquarium states, adding that in October of 2018, they hatched a chick named "Sphengic."
"Today, the couple are still going strong and have paired up for a third breeding season," the aquarium states.
The lessons are not required, though students can complete the lesson section online or at the aquarium.
"Members can access a unit of work about SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s same sex penguin couple, Sphen and Magic, aligned with the NSW syllabus, in the Knowledge Centre section of the Member Portal on Federation’s website," NSW Teachers Federation wrote on Facebook. "It’s segmented into pre-excursion, excursion or online excursion activities and post-excursion activities."
"The unit of work can be used in its entirety or learning activities can be used as stand alone activities or part of your program," the teachers' group added.
Penguin Supervisor at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium Kiera Ponting said that the pair’s story will better understand the new syllabus that educates children on sexuality as children can relate to animals.
“I think a lot of schools now are trying to be more inclusive in their teaching and educating children on more diverse relationships, and I feel animals are a really good way to do that because kids are very accepting of them,” she said, according to News.com.au
“Penguins share equal parenting duties, except for the actual egg laying of course. So that means it doesn’t matter what combination of sexes you have with the parents,” Ponting said.