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Are there any QUAKERS out there?

(13 Posts)
roisin Mon 28-Feb-05 20:33:48

I went to a Friends' School, and have recently been thinking about it loads and loads. I want to go to a Meeting, but am a bit apprehensive about taking the boys (they are not very quiet!)

Do you think it's OK to just turn up?

Cod Mon 28-Feb-05 20:34:54

Message withdrawn

hoxtonchick Mon 28-Feb-05 20:36:57

hello roisin, i went to a friends school too (bootham in york). i bet if you went to meeting they'd welcome you with open arms, and the boys too, bound to be used to children.

Fennel Mon 28-Feb-05 20:39:02

I don't go but my sister takes her toddler and the meeting adores small children going. they have a special room and people look after the children in there, so they don't disturb the meeting. my sister sometimes takes my children too just because the people are very welcoming to children.

roisin Mon 28-Feb-05 20:53:35

Thanks - I didn't really expect any replies!

I think it would probably be better for me to go on my own at least first, but then I'd have to explain to dh, and I don't really want to yet.

ionesmum Tue 01-Mar-05 09:04:01

Hi, I'm thinking about sending my dds to a friends' school, although it probably wouldn't be until secondary level as we couldn't afford the fees for their whole schooling, and the state primary is a lot better than the comp. I'd be really interested in hearing people's experiences.

roisin Tue 01-Mar-05 12:58:26

Ionesmum - Each individual school is obviously different, and has its own strengths and weaknesses. I would say in my school (Ayton School, which is now close ) the Quaker ethos did pervade the whole school (even though many staff and most pupils were not from a Quaker background), and has had a considerable (positive) impact on the person I am today. The emphasis was clearly on learning to think for yourself and to reason logically, rather than to memorise someone else's idea of 'truth'; to have respect for others' opinions and beliefs.

It's hard for me to express what it was in particular about my school which was special, and was distinctive from other schools, but I think it was. The above just sounds wishy washy, and most people would say that most schools do that nowadays.

Why are you considering a Quaker School?

Gumdrop Tue 01-Mar-05 13:08:38


The meeting in Manchester used to have the children in main meeting for about 5 mins, and then have a children's meeting in a side room for the rest of the time.

For example, my dd's had a story about a quaker family as settlers in America meeting Indians/ native Americans, and how the family had interacted with them (cooperation / something of God in everyone) - nothing too OTT.

Then they spent a happy half an hour making "puppets" out of lolly sticks to represent the characters.

It might depend on how big your local meeting is as to whether you have a children's meeting or not. But I wouldn't worry about taking the children along. Most try to be accommodating. Once I had a major coughing spasm in the middle of one meeting, and even though I left the room and was barking outside, they very kindly brought it to an end early so that I could get some tea!

ionesmum Tue 01-Mar-05 16:08:29

roisin, it's wonderful to hear what a positive effect your education has had on you. My school was an ordinary comp and looking back on it I can think of very little that was good about it. I'm considering a Quaker school for our dds because I want them to have a schooling where faith is taken seriously and there is a good level of pastoral care. The local comp has an excellent academic reputation, but is vast - something like 2000 pupils - and by all accounts its RE teaching is deadly dull. It also has a low standard of pastoral care - a friend's brother was being bullied and the school did nothing. Whilst we want our dds to have a reasonable standard of academic education, it is at least as important to us that they attend a school that respects them as individuals, teaches them about respecting others, shows thenm that is more to life than league tables and where faith underpins the whole ethos of the school. Somewhere they can grow as people rather than be stifled or bored into rebellion. And I have a huge respect for Quakers.

hoxtonchick Tue 01-Mar-05 22:26:43

i agree with roisin . my school was very small (around 350 pupils in all i think), & just a lovely supportive place. i was pretty academic & got exactly the right support, as did my brother who was much less inclined to do any work. the pastoral care was excellent. i have to say, being an atheist, that religion was not a big part of school life for me at all. assembly was a mini-meeting each day, & when we were in the 6th form we had to go to proper meeting once a week, but that was it. i only did RE until 3rd year & dropped it as soon as i was allowed to. i can only think of 1 or 2 quakers in my year of 60 or so.

where do you live ionesmum & which schools are you considering? i would definitely send ds to one but there aren't any anywhere near where we live & boarding is certainly not for us.

ionesmum Tue 01-Mar-05 22:57:20

Hi, hoxtonchick, I'm considering the Friends School in Saffron Walden. I'm interested to hear of your experiences too. I'm an Anglican but itmatters to us that our dds are educated in a way that allows them to discover for themselves whether they agree with us or not!

roisin Sun 03-Apr-05 14:12:52

We went to the Friends Meeting today, and it was great. At the door an elderly chap greeted us and said "Oh, how wonderful to see a family here" - it was a fabulous welcome!

The boys stayed in for the first 15 minutes, and coped OK with that. Dh stayed in for the Meeting, the boys and I went out to a Children's Philosophy Club (which we'd found out about in advance). We all definitely want to go again, and next time I want to stay in to the Meeting.

There's lots of useful information on the Quaker website, including this Guide to Meeting for children.

maomao Sun 03-Apr-05 15:12:38

I would love to send DD to a Friends School some day, and have will certainly be looking at the nursery at the Meeting House up the road. My uni was Quaker-influenced, but not as much as a few others that were also nearby. I would think that they woudl be very welcoming at a Meeting, roisin.

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