Good non-religious, mixed primary school in London(14 Posts)
I'm looking for a good primary school for my two boys (in a couple of years) and I wonder if you, mums and dads, know of any. The only criteria I can think of right now are:
1. The school should be in London. We are happy to move wherever we need to within London, in order to give the kids a good education.
2. We do not want any religious school. In other words no prayers, no church activities, no religious guidance in any way.
3. It should be a mixed gender school.
I'm new to the UK and I don't know what else to think about, when choosing a school in England. Any suggestions?
All state school are required by law to hold an act of collective worship which is broadly Christian in character (some have exemptions to allow for a different majority religion, but the need for an assembly remains).
How this is put into practice varies between schools, or indeed within schools over time (eg new head).
You would have to look to the private sector to find a school which has no religious input (beyond RE on the curriculum, which I think is pretty much universal, as it is required by the national curriculum, and a standard part of the timetable in the private sector).
I agree with the other poster. DD is in a non-religious school in an outer London borough and like all other non-religious schools in our "catchment" area there is a certain amount of religious education. We don't have daily prayer but they celebrate Christmas, the head spoke about why we celebrate Easter and they use the local Church to have several celebrations.
I think it would be hard to find a state school fitting your requirement.
Our dream primary, which we tried and failed to move into the tiny catchment of, was Fairlawn in Forest Hill. Think it fulfills your criteria (it still abides by law re. religious element obviously), but then my dream school mightn't be your dream school. And if you're looking for state school then presumably money is a factor and there might be a limit on what you would pay to live in catchment. If you're minted, there are other schools all over London, from Clapham to Crouch End, which are regularly agonised over on these boards, but sometimes it works out cheaper to go private than to pay for a house in the catchment. For a house close enough to Fairlawn, you're probably looking at £500k minimum. Good luck!!
I agree, even a non faith school generally has a bit of a CofE flavour, certainly DD is is a community primary school and comes home singing hymns and talks about praying in assembly. It makes me shudder a bit TBH because I am atheist but not much I can do (I could withdraw her from the worship bit if I wanted but I don't want to single her out and I went to a CofE controlled primary without it changing my beliefs)
Erm, many state primaries in London with a high degree of cultural diversity amongst pupils adopt common sense and leave religious worship out of assemblies but I couldn't possibly mention them on a public message board or they might get into trouble!
They have assemblies which find other ways to address being nice and they read poems and sing Bob Marley songs
there are LOADS of lovely primaries on London - a bit more about what you would like in a location?
also really depends on your budget.
For example many in my North London neck of the woods would take the view that a house midway between Tetherdown Primary and Fortismere Secondary would solve the entire school career problem, and without a penny in fees BUT.
They are nice houses. They are big houses. They have big gardens. They are DEAR houses.
Bob Marley was a Rastafarian, wasn't he? So that would count as broadly Christian, as Selassie is believed to be an incarnation of Jesus.
Fortunately, CofE is so
wishywashy broad now, just about anything well-intentioned can count.
Learning about faiths and religions are part of all school life. You would be hard pressed to find a state primary that didn't acknowledge some of the main religious events. It would be up to you to stipulate with the HT that you do not want your boys partaking in any event.
It is limiting though, sometimes, as long as its not rammed down their throats, children like to sit and be part of the whole class. So if this means that learning about diwali, or christmas - from a factual point of view, it will add to their general understanding of the world, rather than challenge their beliefs.
As a parent you do have the right to opt your children out of religious worship including assembly and religious education. This might be the better option than trying to find a school with no religious activities at all (as others say v. rare in this country).
Wow Bob Marley songs!
Any of those schools in west London W12 by any chance?
I am just about to move to the area and my daughter will be due to start in reception. Thanks
Zombie thread. Huge clue is in the house price reference to houses in Forest Hill!!!!
Yes I think we need a few more details- budget and where you would be commuting to (if appropriate)
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