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How big a part does religion play in a church school (voluntary aided)?

(9 Posts)
scarletlilybug Fri 18-Sep-09 15:14:44

How big a part does Christianity play in your typical CofE Voluntary aided school?

My sister is looking at one for her dd, but wasn't sure how "full-on" the experience would be. I have personal experinec of a voluntary controlled school and, as an agnostic, was happy about the level of emphasis on Christianity - if it had been more "in your face", I might have been less happy. My niece would probably get a place there on grounds of her location - sis isn't planning on suddenly "finding Jesus", unlike some people we know of...

It's supposed to be a good school - but would it be very religious? Much more so than a "normal" school? I understand a VA school would be more religious than a VC school - but how much more?

scarletlilybug Fri 18-Sep-09 15:17:23

Sorry - when I said I was "happy" with the amount of emphaisis on Christianity, "comfortable" might have been a better choice of words. Obviously, a church school is going to have a Christain ethos - it would have been arrogant and/or daft of me to expect otherwise.

abra1d Fri 18-Sep-09 15:37:26

Ours is a C of E primary. When my children were there religion was almost limited to teh school prayer once a week and one assembly with the vicar.

Probably once or twice a term there'd be services in the church, eg, harvest festival, Christmas.
I was a school librarian and in the end we had to file away pretty well all the religious books and bibles because they were seldom read.

There was still a prevailing ethos of kindliness and treating your neighbour as yourself, etc.

A friend of mine is an agnostic Jew and she seemed to find it all acceptable. There is also a Muslim family at the school. They can opt out of services and assemblies if they want.

morningpaper Fri 18-Sep-09 15:42:23

Ours is very religious, yes. Daily prayers and topics about a religious theme every week. E.g. when they study animals, they also do St. Francis. I've been surprised at how religious the education is.

scarletlilybug Fri 18-Sep-09 15:47:56

abra1d - do you know if the school was "aided" or "controlled"? The school I know of (where dd1 used to go) was "controlled" and sounds similar to yours. The one my sister is looking at is "aided". It would be the closest one to her home... but she has concerns (as I would do) that it would be a bit too religious for her to feel comfortable.

ShellingPeas Fri 18-Sep-09 15:58:25

My DCs attend a voluntary aided CofE school and it's fairly low key. We have 3 'expected' attendances at church a year (start of term, Christmas and end of year/leavers service). The children have one church service a week, and daily assemblies have a 'religious' song (usually one that I learnt as a child) at the beginning. They don't seem to have an overtly religious take on any subjects they study.

I am fairly anti religion having been brought up in a Christian fundamentalist family, but I can cope with the level at our school, so long as I send DH to the church services in place of me.

bruffin Fri 18-Sep-09 16:05:44

Mine went to a voluntary aided C of E primary and it was fairly low key. Vicar visit once a week, church service at easter, christmas etc and prayer in assembly and a prayer for lunch.
They learnt just as much about other religeons as christianity.

Smithagain Fri 18-Sep-09 16:21:47

I think it depends on the school. VA schools probably more religious than VC, but that may well depend a bit on the staff. The main difference is that VA schools can select/discriminate (depending on your point of view) based on religious affiliation.

And from what I've heard, Catholic VA schools probably have higher expectations that the pupils' families will be religious than is the case in CofE schools, but I'm not sure about that.

I would think that end of term church services and more obviously religious assemblies are to be expected, as is grace before meals etc. She needs to visit and try and gauge things from the sort of things that are said when parents are shown round.

abra1d Fri 18-Sep-09 16:32:56

Sorry, should have said, voluntary controlled.

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