Does your children's school have a religious assembly every day?

(60 Posts)
reddaisy Fri 03-May-13 22:58:43

I am an atheist. Our DD is due to start primary school in September and her school is not a CoE school but it holds collective worship assemblies every day of a Christian nature. I am firmly of the belief that schools should be secular. I know I can withdraw her from assembly but DD would not thank me for that and offer our own views at home (so far I have managed to explain that some people believe in God, that a lot of people don't and that she can decide what she thinks herself)

What is normal in schools these days? I think daily collective worship is excessive and frankly is pisses me off that my DD will be indoctrinated in this way at school.

Euphemia Fri 03-May-13 23:14:04

Daily assembly seems to be the norm in England, from what I read on here.

I teach in Scotland, and we have assembly once a week, but it's rarely religious.

As long as she is also receiving religious education, and you are discussing beliefs, etc. with her at home, I don't see much danger of "indoctrination" from assemblies. smile

DuelingFanjo Fri 03-May-13 23:16:29

I think legally they have to have some collective worship but not daily? Someone who knows more will probably come and explain. I was raised without religion and was kept out of assemblies a bit when I was really little but as I got older I attended them and I still think religion is a made-up pile of rubbish. I feel the same as you about the way young kids have this forced upon them in schools but many people seem to think it should be the status quo for some reason.

reddaisy Fri 03-May-13 23:22:51

Yes I believe it is indoctrination in order to keep the church going. Children are extremely impressionable and they are told these stories as fact and I think it is fundamentally wrong. The school isn't a faith one but does have strong links with the village church I told the head my thoughts when I looked around (I bet they love parents like me!) but I just wish we didn't all just accept this kind of thing in our schools when the vast majority of adults don't go to church.

level3at6months Fri 03-May-13 23:23:14

Does giving her the chance to think about it indoctrinate her more than excluding her from it?

Bunnyjo Fri 03-May-13 23:55:56

DD's school is also not CofE but very closely linked to the village CofE church. They have daily collective worship and the vicar takes assembly once a week.

If you feel that strongly then withdraw her from collective worship, as is your right.

From the DofE website

All maintained schools in England must provide a daily act of collective worship. This must reflect the traditions of this country which are, in the main, broadly Christian.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the daily act of collective worship and sixth-formers can decide for themselves whether or not to attend, without giving a reason for doing so. Schools must comply with this wish and must ensure a duty of care for pupils who are withdrawn from collective worship.

Whether you like it or not, the school is merely complying with regulations.

DuelingFanjo Fri 03-May-13 23:56:24

We are all born without religion. Making religious worship a compulsory part of schooling and putting the onus on parents to withdraw their children from that part of the school day is not offering choice, it is treating religion as the normal state of affairs when it really should not be.

It would be so much better if parents were left to do their own thing religion wise, rather than defaulting to religions the norm for everyone.

reddaisy Sat 04-May-13 06:40:24

I am not going to withdraw her and mark her out as different. And it doesn`t give her a chance to `think about it` - it tells her there is a God. I am v happy for her to receive religious education in a context that some people believe x and others believe y.

All English primaries must have a daily act of collective worship. It does not appear to indoctrinate children in the long run - many of my year 6's don't believe in God at the moment.

It seems to wind up a lot of parents, but, if done well, is a positve experience for children which is more about spirituality than Christianity, which should be presented as an alternative - ie 'I believe' or 'some people believe'.

There are lots of threads on here about this.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 04-May-13 06:59:53

I feel sad more parents don't withdraw actually, if that is your view. Why shouldn't people be different? What is wrong with different?

You said in your op that 'some people believe in god but lots of people dont' yet also you are telling your dd she has to go to religious worship to be the same as everyone else.

I bet if all the parents who want to withdraw did withdraw there would be more out of the hall than in it!

chickensaladagain Sat 04-May-13 07:00:20

Dd's school has assembly every day but don't do prayers or bible stories unless its Christmas or Easter

They do -being kind to each other, sporting, charity, class assemblies where they share what they are learning

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 07:21:19

There are no secular state schools. They have, by law, to hold collective worship everyday- see the education acts.
I find the 'indoctrination to keep the churches going' very funny- if it was true the churches would be overflowing on Sundays!
Children are not silly- they make up their own mind. One thing is for sure an adult never says 'I am an atheist' , 'I am a Christian' etc 'because my mother/teacher was' .

chickensaladagain Sat 04-May-13 07:24:33

Dd's school has assembly every day but don't do prayers or bible stories unless its Christmas or Easter

They do -being kind to each other, sporting, charity, class assemblies where they share what they are learning

NynaevesSister Sat 04-May-13 07:24:46

No sons school has never done this daily worship thing. We are in London.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 07:25:41

Threads like this turn up every few weeks- so many parents appear to have no understanding about the history of education and the education acts. If they went to a UK primary school themselves I don't see how they missed it, unless it was back when schools could be more relaxed in what they did, or they were at a faith school and didn't realise that those of us at community schools had a very similar experience.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 04-May-13 07:26:27

I am not going to withdraw DS, but will say 'different people believe different things' and it is up to you to decide what you believe.

Blu Sat 04-May-13 07:28:21

Two assemblies a week, never religious. They did observe cultural religious festivals, Christmas, Easter, Harvest, but not with praying. Frosty The Snowman and Rudolph at the carol service, harvest was generally songs about food from around the world.

It is an 'outstanding' school, too, so not sure what happened when Ofsted went in. Certainly DS has never said the Lord''s Prayer in primary or secondary.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 07:28:52

Do you know this for a fact,Nyna? I could have easily assumed the same with my DSs, had I not been a supply teacher at their school and attended some. They are breaking the law unless they have all the correct paperwork which isn't easy to get. It must also come up with Ofsted who will be looking at the spiritual side.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 07:30:20

As a supply teacher I have never had the Lords Prayer at any assembly.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 07:31:36

Generally the prayer is a time of reflection- they can make it a prayer, if they wish, by saying amen.

exoticfruits Sat 04-May-13 07:32:48

It depends very much on how the Head interprets the education act.

JakeBullet Sat 04-May-13 07:35:31

Not in my DS's school....and it's a catholic one. They have an assembly once a week which is a "Celebration Assembly" where they give out rewards, certificates etc....in other words it's a celebration of achievements by the children, then again 40% of the children are not Catholic so a religious assembly would not be appropriate.

Even the "Grace" said at lunchtime is "Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub", much to the delight of the children grin

lougle Sat 04-May-13 07:40:34

I was at DD2's school for an assembly a few weeks ago. It was on healthy living. The Christian element was a one line prayer, thanking God for the food we eat. Hardly indoctrination.

reddaisy Sat 04-May-13 08:25:29

I am well aware that there are no secular state schools and of my right to withdraw her but the point of my thread was to determine how schools interpret it. Daily collective worship for school which is not a faith school sounds excessive to me. Obviously I have not had a chance to observe said assemblies at DDs school yet as she hasn't started. To say that children do not take on the beliefs of their parents and teachers is naive. And even thanking God for food is wrong in my opinion, I might as well tell her that power rangers are real!

JakeBullet Sat 04-May-13 08:47:57

Do ey have to be thanking "God" though? Surely a collective "thank you that we are fortunate enough to have enough food to eat" is fine. It doesn't have to be to "God". Even my so 's Catholic school doesn't name "God" in their lunchtime "thank you for the food". It's literally as I said below. Nowt wrong with that.

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