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Non Catholics attending Catholic school- what are your thoughts/ experience?

(14 Posts)
Minimimimi Tue 21-May-13 13:39:52

We're looking to send our DC to a local public Cathlic school.
Both my husband and I do not practise a specific religion and am worried that our DC may feel left out at school.

We have spoken to the head on this matter and she assures me that the school welcomes all religions and beliefs.

Anyone had experiences similar to this before? Is this something I should worry about?

mummytime Tue 21-May-13 13:58:06

Do you mean a state school? Are you in the UK?

I know lots of non-Catholics at Catholic schools, but it is getting harder to get in. Also there is a lot of Catholicism as part of the school, eg. School celebrations of Mass, at younger ages whole classes preparing for first communion, confirmation. There are also class retreat weekends.

It really depends on your religious point of view, how well your DC will cope.

heronsfly Tue 21-May-13 14:06:14

Are you thinking primary or senior ?
Admissions at out local Catholic primary school are about 50/50, as long as you don't object to your DC joining in with faith based assemblies and attending the odd school Mass there will be no problem, communion classes etc are run outside school hours.
Catholic senior school that my dds now attend is a different matter.
Highly oversubscribed, children are expected to have been baptised,attend mass regularly, and to have taken first Holy communion.
All classes have an underlying Catholic ethos about them, and the vast majority of children will be expected to be confirmed, so well worth looking ahead.

ShakingSultana Tue 21-May-13 17:29:44

A non-Catholic friend with a son at DS’s (primary) school generally really enjoyed the strong community spirit of our Catholic school. Her DS is thriving and is not singled out in any way. However, my friend did find it a bit difficult at the beginning as many parents already knew each other through Church and had already formed friendships etc. She has become very active in the community so no longer has this problem but it may have worked out differently if she had kept her distance outside school.

It is such a nerve-wracking time. Good luck with the whole process. smile

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Tue 21-May-13 17:34:11

Our kids go to a catholic primary - not baptised but husband is from a catholic family.

My experience is that it is a very homely and family oriented atmosphere. Yes faith is a big part but its expressed as a very personal choice, and in a moral framework. Very strong emphasis on behaviour and manners, which suits me nicely.

Theas18 Tue 21-May-13 17:39:52

If you are in the UK you may find it hard to get into a catholic school as a non catholic. Many areas have a thriving catholic population both indigenous and immigrant so admission criteria may be tight.

ThePigOfHappiness Tue 21-May-13 17:41:57

My dd goes to a catholic school and was never baptised. We were in the parish so had no problems with admission.
It's communion year this year and she is the only one not making her communion, so she is feeling a bit left out but I've bought her a white party dress and we will go for a meal so she still has a special day.
They have a mass often (start and end of each term) which dd attends. She has a great group of friends and all the other parents have said nothing about her not having a faith or it being a problem.

Bonsoir Tue 21-May-13 17:45:33

My DSSs are Jewish and attend a Catholic school. It is absolutely fine but not all Catholic schools would be - each one is different. I suggest you look at a few and compare.

creamteas Tue 21-May-13 19:02:13

I wouldn't. Most of the religious schools near me, have so too much religion built in to the school routine and rituals.

Also at secondary, near me the DC are taught views that I disagree with such as criticism of gay and lesbian relationships and anti-choice but no pro-choice information on abortion.

Madsometimes Tue 21-May-13 19:21:10

The biggest potential problem that you may face is in secondary transfer. If you send your child to a catholic primary, they will have 7 years to form firm friendships. Potentially, they may be very disappointed when all their friends go off the the catholic senior school, but your dc cannot get a place. It is rare for catholic schools to automatically feed into a particular secondary school. It is common for most children to go on to particular secondary school(s), but admission will be on faith criteria not on primary school attended.

I know with a four year old this will seem a long way away, but you will find your children will be in Y6 before you know it.

ProudAS Wed 22-May-13 12:40:13

I went to a catholic school depsite not being a catholic and whilst I did feel left out it wasn't for that reason. In general the catholics and non catholics got on fine, made friends etc.

This was high school so didn't have the problem Madsometimes mentions. (In fact I went there because I didn't want to transfer with my existing year group). Where I work we have a catholic primary which takes a number of non catholic kids who do not generally go onto the catholic high school. If there are a number in this situation it may be easier although he'll probably make new friends in high school anyway.

We were taught the catholic church's views on abortion, homosexuality etc but encouraged to ultimately make up our own minds.

I'd check out the school and go with what you think best.

neolara Wed 22-May-13 12:50:22

I went to a convent and I'm not a Catholic. Catholicism underpinned the whole ethos of the school but I never felt left out because of it. I do, however, have a very thorough knowledge of Christianity and Catholic beliefs. I was not "converted" and just thought things like prayers at the start of every maths lesson, and the weekly mass, as completely normal. While many kids came from families who had a very strong faith, the most prominent religion practiced at the time by the pupils was adoration of Saint Duran Duran (showing my age there!).

Ilovegeorgeclooney Sat 25-May-13 19:46:43

I work in an oversubscribed Catholic secondary school and we have a high proportion of children from other faiths, including the children of a local Iman and Rabbi. The pupils are taught to respect faith but there is no sense of exclusion for non-catholics. It all depends on the school and especially the attitude of the HT.

cricketballs Sat 25-May-13 21:44:34

I teach in a Catholic secondary. I was worried for myself when starting there as I am not a Catholic but there is not an issue that I face nor have I witnessed any student facing.
By law we have to take students of other faiths (though a smaller proportion) the main factor of my school is that everyone respects the faith and ethos. All students are expected to say the school prayer in the morning during registration and attend 3 masses a year.
Whilst at mass, students and staff of a different religion are still expected to take part but they don't have to do the sign of the cross or join communion. Other than all classrooms having a crucifix there is not a difference between this school and the comprehensives that I previously taught in.

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