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To wonder what christian ethos means in regard to schools

(45 Posts)
SEmyarse Sun 30-Mar-14 14:25:54

So many people in rl, and on here harp on about wanting to jump through all the hoops to get their kids into the c of e school for the christian ethos.

What are they talking about? I'm not aware that secular schools advocate stealing, violence, selfishness, etc etc. And both forms of school seem to have assemblies with hymns and prayers.

If we were talking fundamentalist christianity, then yes, there would be a difference. They would be encouraged to evangelise, and the whole curriculum could potentially be different. But this isn't what people seem to be after, they just talk in vague terms of loving the christian ethos.

As far as I can tell the only difference is that they exclude some children, often specifically those with the least caring parents, which frankly seems like the least christian thing they could possibly do.

Custardo Sun 30-Mar-14 14:27:04

never heard anyone who isn't christian wanting to sent their kids to a christian school for the ETHOS for the good level of education yes for the ethos? never

SEmyarse Sun 30-Mar-14 14:34:57


I guess some of the people may well be christians. But even if they are, what is more christian about these schools?

And locally, there definitely seems to be a lot of kudos to getting into the c of e school, even though some of the other schools have broadly similar results, if you factor in that they have to take all the 'difficult' children. There's definitely a lot of murmuring about 'ethos' when you bring this up in conversation.

kim147 Sun 30-Mar-14 15:03:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 30-Mar-14 15:15:03

I do know someone who (20 years ago) was a confirmed atheist used to talk about the 'Christian ethos' of her kids' school. She meant they didn't like The Gay.

(Not sure this is considered a Christian virtue, btw.)

SEmyarse Sun 30-Mar-14 15:23:20

Yes Kim, clearly the other schools are against all those things.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 30-Mar-14 15:26:16

We are Christians, but don't believe you need to attend church to practice Christianity.
My dd went to a CofE school for a while. It wasn't over subscribed so we got a place. our older 2 dc went to the local community ghetto, prior to this ds2 went to a Catholic school.
I don't think it matters, its the individual school that makes the difference.
I did find the dc in the CofE school to be more supportive and encouraging of their peers and the pastoral care was second to none. I'm not sure if this was because of the religious aspect or the school itself.

uselessinformation Sun 30-Mar-14 15:30:11

Yet again I

uselessinformation Sun 30-Mar-14 15:32:38

Yet again I say that there are no secular schools in England and Wales (I don't know about the rest of the UK).

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 30-Mar-14 15:34:06

Even private schools? I didn't know that. Sorry, I can tell from your post you feel it should be common knowledge, but I didn't!

kim147 Sun 30-Mar-14 15:34:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 30-Mar-14 15:38:37


My dds school had more than a token nod and daily worship happened during assemblies. They attended church regularly and parents, dc, school and church were all inter linked. There was a real sense of community.
Most of the children worked towards confirmation during y6, they took extra bible studies both at church and school. It was a commitment that Christians welcomed.

kim147 Sun 30-Mar-14 15:50:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

uselessinformation Sun 30-Mar-14 16:11:26

Sorry semyarse, there are frequent posts on here about secular schools and every time someone will post that there are none in England and Wales at least. I don't know what private schools are allowed to do. Even if there is very little 'worship of a broadly Christian nature' in a non church state school, it doesn't mean it is a secular school because, in law, they don't exist.

TheHoneyBadger Sun 30-Mar-14 16:19:04

i don't know about universally but often the christian schools are able to be selective via the back door albeit selective over parents rather than children. in a situation where everyone else has to take whoever turns up and particularly in a very mixed bag socio-economic area the christian school ends with an edge through that selectivity.

certainly that seems to be the case around here for the c of e school that springs to mind. the catholic schools are screwed though through poor governance over a long time and all of them are in special measures.

SEmyarse Sun 30-Mar-14 16:19:16

I thought that their ethos was about helping everyone.

But most of the secondaries appear to have a practice of either only educating 'their own' or encouraging hypocrisy so only those that will collude with the hypocrisy are also entitled to their education.

Neither seems very christian to me.

hackmum Sun 30-Mar-14 16:46:47

It always cracks me up when people talk about the superior "ethos" of faith schools. What does it mean in practice? My DD went to an ordinary state primary where kindness, helping others, tolerance of difference were all taught as important virtues.

As far as I can see the principal "ethos" is "excluding people who are different from us", which I'm not entirely sure is a desirable message.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Sun 30-Mar-14 16:51:34

Yanbu - that and 'teaching them morals' do fuck off!

morethanpotatoprints Sun 30-Mar-14 16:55:56


Yes it was a CofE school. We are still in contact now and visit quite often to collect dds friend. My dd is H.ed now.
It was the best school any of my dc attended and I really couldn't fault it.
However, the local over subscribed community school was like a zoo. My other 2 dc went here and it was a moral cess pit.

All schools are different though, but I did like the ethos of the CofE school.
There are other community schools in our area that have a good reputation.

HairyGrotter Sun 30-Mar-14 16:58:52

I found the 'faith' school I went to a moral cesspit, ironically...


Serendipity30 Sun 30-Mar-14 17:16:13

OP is this a real question or are you just shit stirring?

Serendipity30 Sun 30-Mar-14 17:18:14

Also Islamic schools also have their own ethos, interesting that your not asking about them. Either phrase your question as a question about faith schools generally or admit that you are trying to bash Christians on this thread. There are many types of faith schools in this country.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Sun 30-Mar-14 17:19:34

I think it's an interesting question, I think what used to be seen as 'Christian values' are now just common sense, be kind, don't steal etc.

So what is it the normal schools are teaching that's so un-christian?

WooWooOwl Sun 30-Mar-14 17:25:13

My dc went to a CofE primary. I'm not Christian, but went to Christian schools myself so never really saw a problem with it. My dc both decided that because of school, and the stuff that just didn't make sense to them, that they were committed atheists (I'm not one of those either) and now looking back I can see that the religious teaching was of no benefit.

I work in a school that barely gives a token nod to religion except in RE lessons, and I think its much better. The children there are talked to about things like kindness and honesty and trustworthiness all those kinds of values, but I think the teaching is much better! and makes more sense to the children, without the confusion that the religious aspect provides.

SEmyarse Sun 30-Mar-14 17:36:23

I don't know anything about islamic schools, or indeed catholic schools, my only experience is c of e, but I'm happy to hear anything that gives a different slant on the discussion.

It would be odd if I were here to bash christians, since I'm a christian.

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