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To get annoyed when dd(6) learns about Christianity?

(588 Posts)
MooPointCowsOpinion Mon 20-Mar-17 18:00:55

She is at a non-religious, normal state primary. She is the type of kid who remembers everything she's told and parrots it back, so I hear about her entire day every day at school. Almost every day she tells me they sang this song about Jesus, learnt that story about Jesus, learnt this lesson about Christianity. Every assembly they sing a Christian song.

I am an atheist. I don't want her to learn just about Christianity, all religions are important in a 'this is what some people believe' kind of way but I feel like they're indoctrinating her into Christianity by pushing it so much. I try to counter it by teaching her other religious beliefs and telling her my beliefs, but I know the steady drip drip of information could plant a seed that could lead to what I would consider radicalisation.

I've brought it up with her teacher, she's sympathetic and has given us the option to opt-out but I'd hate for her to feel singled out and to miss important things in assemblies.

Does/did it bother you? AIBU to be annoyed?

Pencilvester Mon 20-Mar-17 18:04:29

YABU, they learn about all religions at school.

Songs in assembly 'radicalising' children... hmm

ZilphasHatpin Mon 20-Mar-17 18:04:43

I'm atheist and my DC go to roman catholic school. They come home with stories and questions about god and Jesus etc and I respond by either saying it's ok for them to think that but that I dont and other people believe in other things. I also talk to them about different religions at times like Hanukkah and eid. I'd rather they heard something about as many religions as possible so they can see that it's a choice to believe rather than just because they were told either to believe or not to believe.

Highmaintenancefemalestuff Mon 20-Mar-17 18:08:06

I'm unsure how I feel about this. I don't believe. I'm glad they learn about ALL religions, but, when I was at school 8 years ago my religious studies teacher was very forceful with it. I don't want my child to have it forced upon them, they need to make up their own minds. Same reason I didn't get them christened, it's up to them, they can choose themselves if they want to be christened when they are older.

Despairbunny Mon 20-Mar-17 18:11:38

YANBU, but the school have to provide a "daily act of worship" which is "broadly Christian in nature" on a daily basis. Education Act 1980something? Can't remember exact legislation.

I remember ds being in reception & coming home confused because he had to thank God for his packed lunch "even though you made it, mummy". grin

d270r0 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:11:41

I agree OP, I don't like it either. My 5 year old ds has come home and is adamant that God is real (and lives in a cloud?) and Jesus is alive and when people die they go to heaven but you can also get there in a helicopter...

Anyway all of this has come from the school as we are not religious. I am happy for him to be taught about religions but it seems to be that they are massively focusing on Christianity and telling them it is definitely the truth, which I am not happy with. I think part of the problem is that according to him, the local vicar comes in and talks to them in assembly, so obviously that is biased.

I've been trying to show him that there are different religions throughout the world, etc etc, but he takes Christianity as truth because 'school says it is'.

BroomstickOfLove Mon 20-Mar-17 18:12:03

I'd be unimpressed. My kids learn about Christianity in RE, along with the other main world religions, in a 'some people believe' way. Around Christmas and Easter time they learn a bit more about those festivals, but again in a way that is aimed at educating them about a religion rather than as part of that religion. Assemblies are about ethics and values, rather than about gods. The non-religious nature of the school is something that the parents really value. Many of them (including me) are active in our various faith communities.

Wellthen Mon 20-Mar-17 18:14:56

I really don't understand how parents can send their children to state school and not know that assemblies have s religious element. Every year there are parents shocked by this.

Were you educated in Britain yourself? I can understand the confusion for families who have recently come to the country.

The school are legally obliged to have a Christian element to assemblies every day (though granted many don't). No amount of complaining will stop this. I suggest writing to your mp.

You have been offered a solution and don't want to take it. You can't have your cake and eat it - make your mind up.

I teach in a school with lots of children from the Brethren. They slip out the door when we sing hymns and don't go to RE lessons. The school organised so that it is discrete and not disrutive. The other children literally could not care less. Many don't even notice.

MyHairNeedsASnip Mon 20-Mar-17 18:15:23

It bothers me. All I can do is tell her what I think, that some people think the bible is true and some people think it's a story book. Obviously her teachers word is the law these days so I'm getting nowhere but I can only keep challenging it nicely the hope that she will too.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 20-Mar-17 18:15:46

Good for you, the last thing your daughter needs to know is anything about the religion that has shaped the country where you live. Well done it must feel good to be so "right on"

PutTheBunnyBackInTheBox Mon 20-Mar-17 18:17:07

Yabu. She's only 6, she will learn about other religions in time. Maybe they've started with Christianity first as that's our country's religion? Would you be this annoyed if they'd started with Judaism?

CaoNiMartacus Mon 20-Mar-17 18:19:25

Radicalisation! I'm picturing a horde of fundamentalist kindergarteners.

PutTheBunnyBackInTheBox Mon 20-Mar-17 18:19:48


ellanutella8 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:20:06

despairbuuny that's adorable!

noeffingidea Mon 20-Mar-17 18:20:19

In your position I would consider removing her from assembly, but not from RE lessons. Learning about religion is important because it underlies so much history, art, literature, sociology, etc, but there's no need to sing religious songs or take part in prayer or any kind of religious ritual.

MyBreadIsEggy Mon 20-Mar-17 18:20:26

I never understand the issue with this.
There's some sort of legislation in this country where state school have to have an "act of worship" once a day. It's been that way for years and years hmm
I'm assuming all the "atheists" who don't like their kids being taught Christianity at school also don't celebrate Christmas or Easter at home?..... confused

PigletWasPoohsFriend Mon 20-Mar-17 18:22:55

I know the steady drip drip of information could plant a seed that could lead to what I would consider radicalisation.

Singing songs in assembly isn't going to radicalise anyone.

Despairbunny Mon 20-Mar-17 18:23:43


In that case, why aren't primary school kids painting themselves with woad & celebrating the spring equinox today? If we're talking religion which shaped this country....

noeffingidea Mon 20-Mar-17 18:24:16

* mybreadiseggy* you do realise that christmas and easter can be celebrated in a secular way, presumably?. Buying a few presents, sticking a tree up and eating turkey, or buying a chocolate egg has got nothing to do with religion.

PutTheBunnyBackInTheBox Mon 20-Mar-17 18:24:23

I'm assuming all the "atheists" who don't like their kids being taught Christianity at school also don't celebrate Christmas or Easter at home?

Ooh good point MyBreadIsEggy!

April241 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:25:39

In primary school we said the Lord's Prayer every morning, we sang hymns in assembly and we went to church for services a few times a year. As we went through primary we were taught about other religions. It's hardly radicalisation.

madein1995 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:26:27

I'm another one who's surprised that anyone who knows the British school system is shocked at this information. The school has to provide a 'daily act of worship' and as Christianity is I think the majority religion in this country (59%) it makes sense to base it on that. It's not just in primary that it's a requirement either. Even in comp, where we learnt about other religions, we still said the lord's prayer in assembly and it wasn't a particularly religious school. We used to have the local vicar come and give talks, which were quite boring but he gave us lollies so we liked him grin the lady vicar who came later on in primary brought pencils so we weren't quite so fond of her grin I've grown up to be on the fence so to speak, I'm not sure about God, I don't think it's radicalising children hmm I don't have kids but as I don't have strong feelings on it I wouldn't really be bothered. They do learn other religions, what you teach them at home is what counts (eg, not everyone believes the same) and I see absolutely no harm in singing songs in assembly or saying the lord's prayer.

BWatchWatcher Mon 20-Mar-17 18:26:33

Suggest she replace 'God' with dinosaur in the songs.

My dinosaur is a great big dinosaur etc.

Also say that the stories are like fairy stories which every culture has. I'm not too keen on enforced religion teaching either, but if they learn their Christian myths then art and history is easier to understand.

RufusTheRenegadeReindeer Mon 20-Mar-17 18:28:53


I'll give you Christmas

But i will bet you could celebrate easter with not even a hint that it was linked to a christian festival

madein1995 Mon 20-Mar-17 18:29:07

I just think it's part and parcel of sending your child to state school in Britain, if you choose to do it, you've got to put up with it

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