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Come and tell me about Catholic v non-faith schools

(13 Posts)
everythingcountsinlargeamounts Mon 22-Apr-13 22:14:38

DH is catholic, I'm Atheist. His faith is more important to him than my Atheism is to me, so our DC's are baptised.

Now we are started to think about schools, and DH wants them to go to the local Catholic primary. I'm not so sure.

I don't like the idea of religion and education being mixed together, but I can't really explain why. I know I've paved the way for this by agreeing to them being baptised Catholic, but the thought of it being a theme running through their school life bothers me.

DH thinks I'm ridiculous, and tells me that it's just prayers in assembly, and celebrating saints days. nothing more. He assures me that the views I disagree with (anti-gay, pro-life etc) will not be taught.

So, am I worrying over nothing and need to accept that they are Catholic so should go to a Catholic school?

(The school is no better or worse than others around here, BTW)

AKissIsNotAContract Mon 22-Apr-13 22:18:32

I went to a Catholic school, I'm now an atheist. If you want your kids to become atheists, catholic school seems to work pretty well!

I was taught pro-life at GCSE, we were shown a horrible video of an abortion. I'm still pro-choice though. The sex education was also very lacking as we were taught it by a nun.

meditrina Mon 22-Apr-13 22:21:40

You really do need to look at the specific school. And remember that a lot of the ethos is down to the head and the governors (who can change). Some are very religious in character, others, as your DH seems to have experienced, are little different from a commnty school. All must deliver the NC, BTW, though there is an RE curriculum with a Catholic slant for its Christian component.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 22-Apr-13 22:21:44

I went to a Catholic school and I'm still a Catholic. We weren't shown graphic videos of abortions. We were taught sex education by nuns and there was nothing that they couldn't answer.

All Catholic schools are different for a start, so you need to look at the ones near you. But ultimately, it's not just assembly and saints' days. DD1 is in Catholic school reception and it runs right through their school day.

everythingcountsinlargeamounts Mon 22-Apr-13 22:29:31

Gwendoline what do you mean by "it runs right through their school day"?

DH went to a Catholic secondary but not a Catholic primary (there wasn't one). For some reason I'm more concerned about primary than secondary, though can't really explain why confused

Springforward Mon 22-Apr-13 22:47:31

I think you need to know more about how the local school goes about things before you can tell. I went to Catholic schools in the 80s and 90s which, looking back with the benefit of comparing notes with others on here, were I suspect very liberal in their views (for example, in my secondary sixth form yes they let SPUC in, but the next week we had some health promotion workers teaching us to put condoms on bananas while blindfolded, and shortly after arranged for a gay HIV positive man to come in and talk to us about his experience of homophobia and discrimination...).

The same schools now attract non-catholic families who like the family ethos of the schools, particularly at primary level. Locally the Catholic primaries have a reputation for excellent pastoral care.

Having said all that - DS is baptised Catholic because I am, DH is non-practising CofE but easy either way, and DS is starting school in September in the local county primary because it's literally around the corner and it was the one we all three liked the look of best. Catholic kids can get their religious education through the parish for sacraments etc., it doesn't have to be through school.

TheWoollybacksWife Mon 22-Apr-13 22:55:13

My DCs have all attended Catholic primary - my DDs are older and have left but my DS is in Y1.

The school has weekly assemblies, each class has a patron saint and they study Christmas and Easter in depth. They also learn about the other major world religions and celebrate festivals such as Diwali. Children are prepared for First Communion and Confirmation and the older children attend Mass once per term. There are visual reminders - statues and crucifixes - around the school, but I grew up in a house full of them so they don't stand out to me IYSWIM.

At primary level my children have never had any lessons about abortion or homosexuality. Their RE lessons are about the seasons in the church (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter etc) and about loving and respecting the people around you.

Other lessons are exactly as you would find in any other school - there is no religious aspect to maths, history, geography etc.

I personally feel it is a very good school that also happens to be Catholic - although I am a regular church goer, so someone who isn't may not be as happy about the religious aspect.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 22-Apr-13 22:57:47

They take off coats etc, sort out book bags, then sit on the carpet for a prayer. Then they go to assembly for stories about Jesus and some singing. Then they come back to class and in amongst the literacy, numeracy, home corner etc they colour pictures of Jesus and whatever is going on at the time (feast days etc). Then a prayer before lunch etc etc. There is no getting away from it. You know that song, 1,2,3,4,5, once I caught a fish alive? Not in our school.

1,2,3,4,5, my friend Jesus is alive
6,7,8,9,10, he died on the cross then rose again.

I'm Catholic, practising and happy to be so but even I raise my eyebrows sometimes!

Fuckwittery Mon 22-Apr-13 22:59:24

You need to ask at the school in question what they do.

For example, at our local school, they say a morning and going home prayer every day. They have religious hymns in twice weekly assembly and hear religious fables. The local priest regularly comes in to do special masses and assemblys for the children, there is lots of cross over between church activities and school activites. They do RE about all types of religion, but they do seem to have a focus on Catholic rituals. I would say its a pretty strong focus and believing in god runs quite strongly in the children. I think our school is probably on the heavy side as I have seen other posts on here where it does not feature as much at all.

alos check percentage of nin catholics, at dds school although there were one or two non Catholics in the upper classes, for the last few years admissions have been 100 per cent catholic,

Fuckwittery Mon 22-Apr-13 23:00:55

Hmmm not fables, fables was the wrong word, implies fiction smile (depends on your view of the bible!)

everythingcountsinlargeamounts Mon 22-Apr-13 23:04:55

Fuckwittery one of DH's arguements for going to the Catholic school is the social aspect, DC's having friends from church and school.

I need to go and visit and see what the ethos is. As far as I'm aware it's 100% Catholic re: intake.

Springforward Mon 22-Apr-13 23:07:40

Allegory, FW? smile

A school with 100% Catholic intake might be different I guess, our local ones aren't.

everythingcountsinlargeamounts Mon 22-Apr-13 23:35:21

Parable? (and I'm the atheist smile)

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