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Aibu to ask how catholic a catholic primary school is?

(76 Posts)
mollysmum82 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:03:09

Dh is very much an athiest, to the point where he finds religious ceremonies and talking about religion quite uncomfortable. I'm catholic and whereas I'd love my children to find the comfort I've found in faith, I would be happy for them to find this comfort in any religion/non religion.

The catholic schools near us have great reports, results and reputations and dh would like our kids to attend one on that basis. I like the idea of them being taught the Christian morals and that everyone is special to God. But I always want them to be able to question anything and would find it inappropriate if they were taught about hellfire and brimstone and if there was any homophobic undertones in any of the teaching. And how hard would it be for an athiest dh to stomach the ethos for the foreseeable future?

aldiwhore Fri 21-Sep-12 23:08:29

Our local village school is a state school but being in a village has a very close relationship with the village church. I'm not a churchgoer (I'm a wishy washy agnostic who'd love to have faith but it evades me) and DH is an unbeliever (rather than an atheist)... there have been a couple of times in 5 years where I've felt my eldest has been preached at rather than educated, but we have many discussions, and use the Christian stories as a basis for these - all good stuff really, DS and I explore different ideas, the question of what is real and what isn't (and he's decided he's not sure and it doesn't matter yet).

So I am guessing that if you could accept that, then its no problem. Catholic schools differ from each other, so I would go and visit the school, with your DH and see what feeling you get from the place.

AgentZigzag Fri 21-Sep-12 23:08:55

Your title made me laugh a bit, I mean, it's going to be pretty Catholic isn't it? grin

But if your DH has a violent dislike of anything religious, is it a good idea for your DC to go to a school he's going to feel so uncomfortable with?

I know you say you're a Catholic and it's important to you, but it might put your DC in a difficult position if he baulks at things they come home saying they've done.

Couldn't you compromise and send them to a Church of England School which has elements of Catholicism in it?

QuintessentialShadows Fri 21-Sep-12 23:11:46

Have you been to visit any Catholic schools? How old are your children?

How often do you take the children to mass? Are they baptized?

Most Catholic schools, especially those with good reports are very heavily subscribed. You need to check the admissions policy to your local schools.

My childrens Catholic primary prioritize baptized Catholic children in care, Catholic Children with siblings already in the school, Catholic children who worship regularly (3 out of 4 Sundays) in the parish church (for the last three years at least), Catholic families with less attendance in church, and finally non Catholics within school catchment area.

But you asked how Catholic a Catholic school is.

Very. There is a big Virgin Mary in the reception area. There is prayer and hymn practice, assembly daily, and the parish priest attend assembly at least once a week. Prayer at meal times. The school observes all regular festivals, such as harvest festival, lent, and the children attend mass regularly and with all these festivals and school masses parents are most welcome to take part. Will your husband be able to support the school ethos, the religious content, and take part in all this?

That is for him to decide.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Sep-12 23:14:29

I would imagine it's quite difficult to teach children about Catholicism and not mention hell and the crucifixion etc...

I went to Catholic school and we were taught about that from a very early age...so much so that the sight of a man hanging on a cross on the walls, with nails driven into his hands and feet...and blood on his forehead from the thorny crown, actually didn't seem barbaric at all.

Weirdly enough we thought it was just 'normal'.

I'm not sure what parents today would make of their kids being subject to that though...and especially if one of those parents wasn't religious.

Looking back, all I learnt from the whole religious experience was guilt.

cerealqueen Fri 21-Sep-12 23:15:21

Would you have a cat in hell's chance of getting in???? We are non practicing catholic and have no chance of getting into ours (not being married and non baptised Dcs!) Check it out before you get worried about it.

cerealqueen Fri 21-Sep-12 23:16:07

Yes to the guilt. I am riddled with it.

QuintessentialShadows Fri 21-Sep-12 23:17:00

Quote from a parent at coffee morning:

"Would you know, Caitlin told me the other day that we descend from apes, APES I tell you, whatever next! Have you heard such modern mumbo jumbo"

Even I was very taken aback. I am not joking. She actually said that. She went on to say how much she resented the children being told such stories, when everybody knew, or should know, the creation story.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Sep-12 23:17:04

There are cats in hell too??

Finally I think they must have protected us from something grin

QuintessentialShadows Fri 21-Sep-12 23:17:58

grin
What sin did the poor cat commit, pray tell!?

IfYouSeeMeSayHello Fri 21-Sep-12 23:18:09

Unlikely that your children will get in if you are asking the question! Where I live weekly mass attendance is compulsory to even be in with a chance of being considered. I am Catholic anyway so not an issue but it is pretty full on.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Sep-12 23:18:30

Probably shat in a Mumsnetter's garden....

NellyJob Fri 21-Sep-12 23:18:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

AgentZigzag Fri 21-Sep-12 23:19:17

'(not being married and non baptised Dcs!)'

Do they actively go looking for this kind of information cereal? shock

I'm probably just being naive being shocked by that level of 'intrusion' into someones personal life, because I know a lot of things are black or white.

Maybe it's being on here which makes it seem wrong to judge on such things.

apostropheuse Fri 21-Sep-12 23:21:48

Catholic schools thankfully don't teach in a "hellfire and brimstone" manner. They do, however, teach according to the dogma of the Catholic Church, along with teaching about other religions.

The teaching on homosexuality will of course be according to the teaching of the Catholic Church. It is taught that the sexual act should take place within a marriage situation, which obviously excludes same sex relationships, as well as non-married hetrosexual relationships. There's no way round that teaching. Perhaps if you or your husband aren't happy with that then you need to look elsewhere?

As a basis of all teaching, though, is the compulsion that you do not condemn a person - they are always to be loved regardless of what they do or have done. It's the act itself that is seen as wrong. So, really it would depend on how you can reconcile you and your husband's beliefs with this.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Sep-12 23:22:22

Ziggers it's not intrusive to check the criteria of the children wanting to attend...but I think checking the parent's are married is certainly intrusive.

QuintessentialShadows Fri 21-Sep-12 23:22:37

The application to a Catholic Primary will require:

Copy of baptismal certificate
Priests written reference (This is from a secondary school, but they are pretty much the same )

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Sep-12 23:23:30

What's their view on contraception nowadays, is it still the same as it was?

Georgetta Fri 21-Sep-12 23:23:40

Both my dcs went to a catholic school,the youngest has just finished there. I am catholic(not really practicing) and dh is C of E.Would I do it again-definitely not! Yes it was very staunchly catholic but I found it to be overly strict,stifling almost and looking back I regret not sending them to the local state school which I believe would have been a far more enjoyable experience for them. I truly dont believe that they had a far better education there because of attending a catholic school-they would have got an equally good education elsewhere but I was sucked in by the 'great reputation' that the catholic schools had in our area.hmm.
I would say go with the local school or else a C of E one especially seeing as your dh is not into the catholic religion etc.
This is my experience of it anyway but I could be alone on this!confused.

vamosbebe Fri 21-Sep-12 23:28:00

I went to a 'practising' C of E secondary school not so long ago late 1980s and we had: sermon and prayer before morning assembly, prayer before each meal and celebrated lent/advent litergy/harvest festival the lot.

I grew up a non-believer so perhaps your children will, too, and your DH will be happy? I find it a bit odd putting a child in a religious school when you're uncomfortable with that religion, but that's just me.

Fairenuff Fri 21-Sep-12 23:29:56

In our Catholic primary school you do not need to be catholic. There are children from many different faiths, some do not take part in catholic worship, such as mass. There are morning and afternoon prayers but children do not have to join in and can just sit quietly, as long as they are respectful.

The children are taught the same curriculum as other cofe schools, including sex education.

loverofwine Fri 21-Sep-12 23:32:29

My kids go to a catholic school. DH is very Catholic. I am an atheist. I am happy that they are learning within a strict moral framework and they seem comfortable that their mum does not believe when their father does.

I trust they will have the maturity to make decisions about homosexuality etc. When they need to. In the mean time they are getting a good education in a supportive environment but are aware of the choices.

Talk to your DH and kids. Visit the school. Then decide if it is right for you and your family.

MsVestibule Fri 21-Sep-12 23:32:42

Worra no change on their stance on contraception. Rhythm method, and even then, only when you're married.

Yes, Catholic schools are pretty Catholic. My DCs both go to one and my DS in Y1 has recently been taught the Creationist story. But she is only 5 - if this was their teaching at Secondary level, I'd be a bit hmm.

WorraLiberty Fri 21-Sep-12 23:35:16

Really MsVestibule, that would be a deal breaker for me.

I've known far too many girls who ended up having abortions because they felt too guilty/scared to use the pill.

However the guilt over the abortions (and the secrets kept from family) was far worse.

AgentZigzag Fri 21-Sep-12 23:37:36

How do they get round the sex ed thing if they haven't changed their stance on contraception?

Do they have to frame it as 'what other people do'?

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