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to think God has no place in my 5 year old's school

(172 Posts)
MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:22:39

She told me at bedtime last night that 'bad people die but Jesus came to suffer for us so we don't have to'. We're not religious, in fact we're Humanists, and fail to see why a non-religious school would be inviting a local youth 'education' group in to give regular assemblies to children this young (if at all).

Why aren't other people questioning it? Why aren't our children being encouraged to develop critical faculties? I'm feeling frustrated and cross.

MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:24:01

Just to clarify, the school invite this local church youth group in to tell the Early Years lot Bible stories. They seem to be there multiple times every half term.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 26-Mar-13 09:24:30

I am a Christian but I think that's very odd! My DC go to a non religious school and we have never had such a thing. Have you asked the HT about this?

MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:25:33

Not yet Neo. We have parent's evening tomorrow night so will mention it to the class teacher then arrange a meeting with the Head.

Madmum24 Tue 26-Mar-13 09:25:33

This happens in most schools. One of the reasons that we choose not to go down the mainstream schooling route.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 26-Mar-13 09:25:45

Do they also invite other religious groups in? Is it because it is Easter? At DDs school we have thinking about it, had some people in to talk about various religius festivals such as Ead...(wrong spelling I know!) and also about Jewish festivals.

greenfolder Tue 26-Mar-13 09:26:42

nothing wrong with questioning it, but having had 3 kids through state school, i did a lot of "some people believe that darling". my kids developed their own critical faculties as they grew. to be fair, they have been exposed to a lot of religious views of every faith that probably they wouldnt have got at home. if you think they are over doing one faith (and its not a faith school) might be worth having a word

Chocovore Tue 26-Mar-13 09:27:22

Is it a state school in the UK? If so, they are not non-religious.

FrauMoose Tue 26-Mar-13 09:27:29

I would be too! I'd want to ask the school about which different groups were invited in to do assemblies, and how it fitted in with education about people's beliefs. I do think in a multi-faith area, it is absolutely right that children are given some understanding of the varieties of belief...

If you're not satisfied with the answer, how about talking to the Governors? And other parents in the playground, of course.

It sounds as if you may be encouraging our child's critical faculties though!

MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:27:33

No Neo, they have been in really regularly regardless of the church calendar as far as I can tell. But that is an excellent point. Why not rotate between faiths/concepts unless the intention is to indoctrinate?

Pilfette Tue 26-Mar-13 09:27:40

I tried to balance it all with a comment along the lines of "some people believe, x some people believe y, no-one is right, no-one is wrong". My DDs primary was non-religious but they still did RE etc. They're now 15 and 17 and have no faith but respect for the beliefs that others hold. (Sorry, that sounds sanctimonious, wasn't meant to be; just meant that it had little effect on them)

I can't answer your question re youth groups and assemblies though, have you asked school? Alternatively, I believe you have the option to remove her from RE entirely?

WilsonFrickett Tue 26-Mar-13 09:28:31

There's no such thing as a 'non-religious' school though. All schools have acts of worship (usually Christian) as part of their routine. It very much depends on the HT how 'strong' and regular these are, however. Our school's last HT was an atheist and did as little as he possibly could, the new HT is more religiously-inclined and now the vicar comes in once a month for an assembly and the DC's go to church at the end of every term.

If it bothers you, go to the school and ask for your DCs not to attend.

Softlysoftly Tue 26-Mar-13 09:28:55

I thought there was a legal obligation to have some kind of communal worship? Could be telling bollocks though just something I picked up from reading estyn
Reports.

This sounds a little ott though.  

WilsonFrickett Tue 26-Mar-13 09:29:31

Massive Xpost, must be a slow typing day! grin

MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:30:11

Chocovore I know that there is some requirement to discuss religion in schools. I understand that and am not afraid of it in the slightest. What I firmly object to is the delivery of one faith as some kind of unquestioned 'truth' in a way which doesn't allow for critical response.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 26-Mar-13 09:31:02

MeSo....yes, it's good for DC to learn about all kinds of Faiths....my older DD is very interested in it all...she enjoys visiting different places of worship...we don't go to church and we've not Christened the DC....we like them to explore all kinds of religion and at the moment DD is looking at Buddhism....I would suggest that if the school are inviting ONE religious group in, then they need to widen the invite!

Step Tue 26-Mar-13 09:31:38

YABU. We live in a nominally Christian culture. You need to understand Christianity to understand our history, our mores, and our way of life.

meditrina Tue 26-Mar-13 09:32:38

Well, they are probably doing Holy Week because it's happening right now, and is the most important festival of the largest world religion.

It might be worth finding out how often this group comes in, and what other groups do. The picture may well be more diverse than described.

MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:34:08

Step I refer you to my previous comment.

hackmum Tue 26-Mar-13 09:34:24

It's very odd. There is a legal obligation to have collective worship, and there is a legal requirement to teach RE as part of the national curriculum. The RE curriculum covers many different faiths, however, not just Christianity. So what your DD's school is doing seems to be quite separate from that. I would certainly challenge it.

MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:34:50

Step explain what you mean by a 'nominally Christian culture' please.

MeSoFunny Tue 26-Mar-13 09:36:13

meditrina there are no visits from Hindu groups or Muslim groups or Jewish groups with the same regularity. That is the issue. They are presenting it as a truth by favouring it.

teacherwith2kids Tue 26-Mar-13 09:36:20

All state schools are required to hold collective worship 'of a largely Christian character', and all schools are required to teach RE (with Christianity being one of the main faiths studied).

You can opt your child out of collective worship, if you wish to. The RE syllabus in a non-Church school is pretty balanced, tbh, with several faiths included.

WilsonFrickett Tue 26-Mar-13 09:37:05

Just because the DD isn't mentioning other aspects of RE doesn't mean they're not happening though hack - 5yo's are hardly reliable narrators...

greencolorpack Tue 26-Mar-13 09:37:37

I would say God is everywhere so to take your rhetorical title literally, Yabu. What you mean is, why is religion in schools? Your child is wrong about bad people dying, everyone dies, good or bad. So she hasn't quite got the Christian message right.

What are you afraid of? You are raising her Humanist. Perhaps she will choose Christianity when she is older, would that be a bad thing? What is wrong with understanding the Christian message? Isn't it better than thinking Easter is all about fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs? I would rather that children understand religious festivals rather than inanity about fluffy bunnies and eggs.

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