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..to be surprised at this woman's opinions on First Communion and Catholic Schools..

(147 Posts)
fourfingerkitkat Tue 15-Jan-13 18:25:22

Was chatting to another mum at our toddler group this morning about my DS and her DD who are due to start school in August. I have enrolled DS in a nearby Catholic school (dh and I are both very lapsed Catholics !) as I believe it's one of the better ones in the area and I'm hoping he'll be able to attend the Catholic secondary that I went to which is a good school. Woman I was chatting to has had a few arguments with her partner who is protestant and feels very strongly against his daughter attending a Catholic school and being "brainwashed". I told her he's entitled to his opinion but my DS and DD haven't been baptised Catholic therefore they won't be making their First Communion or Confirmation and so won't be getting "brainwashed". She seemed really shocked that I was going to deny my DD a First Communion and the chance of getting dressed up in big fat gypsy wedding style dress...I was open mouthed at that point...

Oldandcobwebby Tue 15-Jan-13 19:13:18

I would not, under any circumstances, send my daughter to a faith school. Religion should never interfere with education.

Salmotrutta Tue 15-Jan-13 19:15:55

Our local catholic schools (Scotland but not central) take in pupils that are Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, atheists etc.

And the same applies to the staff.

AmIthatWintry Tue 15-Jan-13 19:18:36

Sorry, lily I'm in central Scotland and my DD went to a Catholic School. She's not even a Christian, let alone a Catholic, so it's not true to say you don't get into the local catholic school without being baptised. About 30% of her primary school were non catholics. It used to be higher, until the influx of eastern europeans to the area.

DD didn't do any first communion prep, but did go to church with the rest of them. She is now in S2 (at a non denominational school ) and is truly not brainwashed.

FeistyLass Tue 15-Jan-13 19:18:47

By having selection criteria they effectively screen out all the kids who have chaotic homelives,parents with difficulites, finaicial problems.
I went to a Catholic primary and a Catholic High School. We had kids from all faiths. Also, because the catchment was from an area designated as deprived, we had a large percentage of pupils with chaotic homelives, parents with difficulties, lots of financial problems, and our fair share of underage pregnancies . . .we still had the best results in the area.

Booyhoo Tue 15-Jan-13 19:18:54

your DD will be brainwashed without making her comunion or confirmation. the religion is an every breath the staff take. everything will be associated back to religion. you are naive in teh extreme if you think your DD will get out of catholic primary and secondary education unscathed.

Salmotrutta Tue 15-Jan-13 19:20:43

And mass etc. is optional and outwith teaching time with religious assemblies occurring maybe two or three times a month.

They do tend to do a short prayer at registration time every day.

Salmotrutta Tue 15-Jan-13 19:24:41

Thats not true Booyhoo.

I have many colleagues who have (or still do) taught in Catholic schools, who are not themselves Catholic. And religion is very low key apart from RE which is done in all schools.

CheCazzo Tue 15-Jan-13 19:25:40

I think you're just being stupid for the reaction. The alternative is that you actually ARE stupid and I'm sure that's not the case.

Salmotrutta Tue 15-Jan-13 19:25:52

Of course I can only speak for the catholic schools in this neck of the woods.

Booyhoo Tue 15-Jan-13 19:32:35

i'm in NI so perhaps there is more of a focus here than in england/scotland but IME education in catholic schools is very much tied in with religion. prayers at the start of many classes depending on which teacher you had, prayers before being allowed to eat, prayers every morning. mass every friday. daily references made by staff to their god when reminding you to behave. absoloutely no tolerance for abortion or sex outside of marriage. quite a scary place for a teenage girl to be spending a large chunk of their life.

fourfingerkitkat Tue 15-Jan-13 19:34:25

Che Cazzo (nice nickname btw) I'm being stupid for thinking that making your first communion is more about having a fancy dress and looking like a princess for the day ? This woman was shocked that I my daugther would be missing out on this opportunity...I said if it was that big a deal then I could buy her a pretty dress that day.

I have already enrolled him in the primary and they know he is not baptised. Quite interested by all the responses though and the differing opinions on how your kids have/have not been "brainwashed".

fourfingerkitkat Tue 15-Jan-13 19:35:23

I'm in the West of Scotland btw for what it's worth.

FeistyLass Tue 15-Jan-13 19:41:11

Booyhoo I think it may be different in NI. In my experience, in high school the RE classes were as likely to be about a different religion as Catholicism and there was no praying at any point of the day (unless you chose to take yourself off to the Oratory in your break).

FeistyLass Tue 15-Jan-13 19:42:07

oops, sorry, just remembered, there were masses on holydays of obligation but you could opt out.

I know plenty of atheists and Muslims that go to catholic schools in Scotland. In fact, I'm sure there must be more Muslims than Catholics at Notre Dame. AFAIK, they just opt out of the communion prep.

To posters elsewhere - the system is different in Scotland. We have non-denomination schools and catholic schools, and you're in the catchment for one of each. All schools are funded by the state, rather than the catholic church.

Loislane78 Tue 15-Jan-13 19:45:49

Wow, some v extreme and largely inaccurate opinions of the 'brainwashing' that goes on in faith schools. Most pupils leave 'unscathed', no more or less than any other schools confused

I'm assuming those who are so concerned with RE being part of a curriculum decline for their DCs to participate in the nativity or any Easter celebrations.

hope4455 Tue 15-Jan-13 19:45:51

My kids have been to two catholic primary schools - one in East Scotland the other in the West. When registered them in the East Scotland one i had to show their baptisement records, there was prayers every day and mass every couple of months. Moving to the West i found the catholic school to b more catholic - mass every month, more emphasis on religion and a commitment to attend mass so your child could have his/her first confession, communion and confirmation. Personally this is what i expected as i did decide to send them to a faith school. Teachers are expected to attend mass every week and the children are questioned on the readings and gospel on a monday morning.

ninah Tue 15-Jan-13 19:47:14

I think to say 'Catholic school' is almost as much as a generalisation as saying 'school' as they do vary, from all accounts
I teach in a Catholic school. I haven't seen evidence of brain washing. We admit all faiths and are, I'd say, relatively very inclusive. A lot depends on the outlook of the HT and the reputation of the school (and hence pressure on admissions). I don't know how it would feel to miss out on FHC. I have talked to older people who attended our school who felt very left out, but I think it would be handled more sensitively nowadays. I see some children taking a blessing instead of HC at Mass, and assume not everyone chooses to prepare.
I am not a Catholic but I have been made most welcome. I support the ethos of the school and am a caring and good teacher. I assume pupils with a similar outlook thrive.

Chunderella Tue 15-Jan-13 19:51:53

Andro actually has a good point about kids feeling left out. I don't think you're being Mean Mummy for denying it to DD or anything, but you probably need to think about how she's going to feel if her classmates are all experiencing this important rite of passage and she isn't. It really is quite a big deal for Catholics. I'd have been utterly heartbroken to have missed out on it, especially if I were one of the only ones. And to DD, it almost certainly will be at least partially about getting to wear the big dresss. It was for me! She might well see it as everyone else except her getting to wear a princess dress and having a party. Not saying you should have her make her communion for this reason only. But it's an issue that will need to be dealt with- I really think you must consider what you'll do if she asks you if she can do it.

Booyhoo Tue 15-Jan-13 19:51:53

"some v extreme and largely inaccurate opinions of the 'brainwashing' that goes on in faith schools"

an opinion is just that. opinion. it's based on personal experience. it can't be inaccurate. even if it was inaccurate. you couldn't possibly know as you haven't experienced what i have.

goldiehorn Tue 15-Jan-13 19:54:22

your DD will be brainwashed without making her comunion or confirmation. the religion is an every breath the staff take. everything will be associated back to religion. you are naive in teh extreme if you think your DD will get out of catholic primary and secondary education unscathed.

What a load of bullshit booyhoo

I often wonder whether these people on Mumsnet who insist on going on about how awful Catholic schools are, have actually spent any time at all in these schools, because I do not recognise what they are saying at all (brainwashing, middle class/non SEN kids only etc). I dont think you really actually have a clue what you are talking about do you?

I went to a catholic primary school and loved it, my brother had the full catholic education, primary and secondary shock and we both came out relatively normal I think, in fact both of our partners are stauch atheists. I have also worked in two catholic primary schools in the last few years and I can tell you now that they are not how they are sometimes described on here.

I am taking DS to mass these days because I want him to go to the local catholic schools (particualrly secondary as it is by far the best one in this town).

Booyhoo Tue 15-Jan-13 19:56:49

"I often wonder whether these people on Mumsnet who insist on going on about how awful Catholic schools are, have actually spent any time at all in these schools, "

how do you think i know what they're like? confused

goldiehorn Tue 15-Jan-13 19:58:13

Did you go to one or are your kids in one?

Booyhoo Tue 15-Jan-13 19:59:49

i wouldn't give an opinion of a jewish school or a CofE school because i've never been to one. what makes you think i'd give an opinion of catholic education unless i had experienced it?

Chunderella Tue 15-Jan-13 20:01:09

On the subject of faith schools being colonised by the middle classes, I've read about that in the media and heard people say it was so when I was at university, and it left me wondering if it was a London thing. Personally I went to a big one on a northern council estate, with nary a middle class parent in sight. To be fair, the non faith school probably didn't have any either. There were none to be had for several miles! Anyway, it does seem that the schools situation in London is very different from that of the rest of the country.

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