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If you send your child to a church school...

(18 Posts)
confuddledDOTcom Sun 14-Oct-12 11:38:15

My daughter goes to a CoE church and hopefully her sister will join her next year. We love the school, we're not CoE but are Christian (Pentecostal). I've been a little surprised recently at the attitude of some of the parents and wondering if it's just me.

First one, the school doesn't do Halloween. At every PTA when we're talking about what we've got coming up or looking through the catalogues someone will say "We don't do Halloween" in a sort of eye-rolly way. I'm sitting there thinking "well you did send your child to a church school, what did you expect?"

Second one, the school's motto/ tag line is Psalm 127:3 (Children are a gift from God) and have just had a new sign out the front with the verse on it. People are commenting about it and saying have the school changed their religion(???) I know it's a popular verse with quiverfuls but it's a pretty obvious verse for a church school to choose.

I can't understand how parents can complain about a church school they chose to send their children to acting like a Christian organisation. I'm surprised no one has commented on the school saying prayers (they have a morning one, grace and an end of day one) or the amount of time they visit the church they're connected to! I've probably just not heard that one.

FeckOffCup Sun 14-Oct-12 17:03:22

I went to a Catholic school and I'm sure they used to acknowledge halloween, if memory serves correctly I think we had a halloween disco at senior school.

lieback Sun 14-Oct-12 17:09:19

Our Catholic school has a Halloween disco and a Halloween shop. Perhaps more surprising is the enormous bonfire and fireworks display. We don't burn effigies of the Pope though.

MirandaWest Sun 14-Oct-12 17:14:32

Not all people make a positive decision to send their children to a CofE school - my DC go to one but it is the only school in our village so if you live here you either need to drive elsewhere or they go to this school. The default would be to go here.

School doesn't specifically do anything for Halloween but doesn't specifically not if that makes sense.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 14-Oct-12 17:23:09

DD has just left a CE school and I need to apply for DS to go next year. I'm going to apply for our nearest non church school but he's unlikely to get in and be offered a place at the church school which is our catchment school. So really there isn't actually a choice and I have no option but have my child exposed to being told by a visiting vicar they don't believe in God they will go to hell.

Church school didn't do Halloween but did do Bonfire night.

confuddledDOTcom Sun 14-Oct-12 17:42:58

Catholics are more likely to do Halloween than protestant denominations, so it wouldn't surprise me that they did. I remember my mum having a row with my class teacher in first year (year 3 lol) when she refused permission for me to go to a local Tudor house museum that our school was fond of, to dance around the cauldron and make spells. My teacher's main argument was "But I'm Catholic!"

I live in a big city and there are plenty of schools in the area, especially the side most people come from (I'm from the posh side where it's mostly private schools and all others are a long walk) it's also a tiny school (one small class per year) so it's not easy to get into or the only school available. Even if you don't get a choice, you know that there are some things that are going to happen, verses on the front wall shouldn't be a surprise.

Never heard of anyone not celebrating 5/11 for religious reasons or burning the pope!

WynkenBlynkenandNod, I can imagine not wanting to send your child there! Our school has equal amount of white to Muslim pupils (not that I'm saying there's only the two or they're always separate things or anything else, just something I picked up on the entry stats) so I'm guessing it wouldn't be the best assembly message!

EdithWeston Sun 14-Oct-12 17:55:26

Our CofE church organised a Hallowe'en party which took place in the Church Hall. It's not a given that it's never celebrated in CofE institutions, so I can't see what's wrong with parents asking about it.

I do however agree it's a bit weird to remark upon the school using its motto, or thinking it strange that a Christian school chooses a Christian motto.

[I know St Peter's York won't celebrate Guy Fawkes' Night, but that's not religious; more that they think it poor taste to burn an old boy].

confuddledDOTcom Sun 14-Oct-12 18:52:21

It's not common though for churches to celebrate Halloween, I'd have had something to say if our school had, avoiding things like that was part of the appeal. They don't ask about it though or bring up that some places do, it's just "let's make a point each week we don't do Halloween". I might have less to say if it was like my old teacher and arguing that as a Catholic she doesn't see a problem. They've started bringing Halloween branded cakes into PTA meetings to share around lol.

I didn't know about St Peter's, makes sense grin

Tuo Sun 14-Oct-12 18:59:19

My dd2 is at a CofE (VC) primary school (dd1 was, but has moved on). I am Anglican myself, but that's not why we chose the school - it's just our catchment school and about 1 minute's walk from our house. It's actually pretty 'religion lite' - they have a church assembly once a week and do have some events with the local church, but I have never heard anyone say that the religious aspect is intrusive. RE covers all the main world religions, not just Christianity, and the 'celebration assemblies' I've been to over the years have often has Christian songs, but also secular ones, and no prayers.

I think that our school does acknowledge Hallowe'en but doesn't make a big deal out of it. But I agree with the OP that it's a bit odd for people to send their children to a school with a religious affiliation (especially if it's hard to get into and not just the only one in the neighbourhood) and then get the hump about it not acknowledging Hallowe'en. If the parents want to make a big deal out of Hallowe'en they can do it outside of the classroom/school building.

Likewise, the school motto... It doesn't seem controversial (i.e. it's not, to quote another poster, saying that anyone who's not a Christian is going to Hell) and, yes, it's a church school, so it would be anachronistic for it not to mention God...

You have reminded me that my school's motto was 'Thy children shall be taught of the Lord' (Isaiah 54: 13) ... and we were!

Startailoforangeandgold Sun 14-Oct-12 19:03:53

Some anglican churches are odd about Halloween and others aren't.

I agree many of us have DCs at church schools because there is no alternative.

Nearest 3 schools to me are.

Tuo Sun 14-Oct-12 19:22:28

It's really not 'odd' not to do Hallowe'en, Startail. When I was at Primary School (state, not religiously-affiliated... this wasn't the 'shall be taught of the Lord' one!) in the 1970s it was never mentioned. It's something that has swum the Atlantic in more recent times, but it's not as if it's a big national holiday which it would be strange for schools not to participate in...

Personally, I can take it or leave it, but I think that it should be up to individuals to dress up, go trick-or-treating, have a party, or whatever. I don't think that schools need to be involved.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 14-Oct-12 20:48:47

I'm struggling to grasp how schools should celebrate or acknowledge Hallowe'en.

Does it really have anything to do with school?

I can imagine perhaps having an assembly where you might talk about traditions from around the world, but other than that, I am stumped.

5th November is much more relevant from the citizenship angle. And tyere's more fun for the whole family (an early start on mulled wine, perhaps?).

If the PTA want to run a fancy dress party, they can - and the can play down the witches and ghouls. Everyone can come in their Disney costumes. They can emphasise giving rather than getting (in contrast to trick or treat).

confuddledDOTcom Sun 14-Oct-12 21:25:31

I've never known a church that does Halloween, I've known it the other way. I took the service with my group a few years ago on Halloween, we did a sort of anti-Halloween (not in the Halloween is bad, but going the opposite way) thing. I've mostly been part of Pentecostal churches but my grandad was a FCoE minister and his best friend from childhood who he trained with (someone who's always been my uncle) is the highest minister in the FCoE. So I have a little mixed background.

I don't know what schools normally do for Halloween, I've seen a lot of stuff in the catalogues the PTA use but not sure what you'd do with it because it's something I've never been involved with. It doesn't seem to be something that needs to be done in school (or maybe it's me?) I agree with Tuo, it's more of a home thing. No one's ever said that they want to run something on Halloween, just making the constant point we don't do anything, the deputy head has said that we do keep away from it though so I don't think that we'd be able to do an anti thing.

I think our school is similar to yours Tuo, although they don't go to church very often and they have prayers/ grace.

sashh Mon 15-Oct-12 05:45:39

I'm struggling to grasp how schools should celebrate or acknowledge Hallowe'en.

Not selebrate the eve of All Saints - a fairly importand date for many christians.


Visit Lewes on November 5th

HolofernesesHead Mon 15-Oct-12 08:20:33

I know churches and schools that have All Saints' Parties and make a huge deal of All Saints' Day rather than Halloween (All Hallows' / All Saints' Eve).

C of E schools vary a lot in how religious they are, IME; my dcs' old one was more of a local community school than a religious one, in a village so only choice available without travelling out of the village, and their new one is more religious, but much more 'buy into' by nature so that it's a definite parental choice.

HolofernesesHead Mon 15-Oct-12 08:21:19

Sassh, Lewes is amazing! Love it! smile

hiddenhome Mon 15-Oct-12 10:01:22

My dcs go to Catholic schools and they don't do halloween.

confuddledDOTcom Mon 15-Oct-12 10:17:43

Saints are usually a Catholic thing or high CoE. Besides it's a bit different to celebrating bad things.

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