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Sending a non Catholic child to a Catholic primary school

(17 Posts)
freethebiscuit Thu 13-Oct-16 08:27:01

Just that- looking at schools for my dd1 for next year and have some decisions to make. We are not religious and I obviously want her to have the best education in the best school. Have no prejudice and will accept the terms if she goes to a Catholic school while she won't participate in Communion. She might get offers or not but some of our choices (live in v urban area- applied for 5 schools years ago) are Catholic ethos schools. Just wondered if anyone has an older non religious/unbaptised child in a Catholic school and what they've missed out on/ done when the majority of their classmates are doing Communion prep/ sacraments etc... has your child found it tough?

RunningGingerFreckleyThing Thu 13-Oct-16 08:31:39

Are you in the UK? Communion preparation is done in the parish and not the school in our diocese (Northampton) so there should be no issues in that respect but there are masses during school hours.

ChickyDuck Thu 13-Oct-16 08:35:14

Admittedly about 15 year ago, but in munch catholic primary school we did the communion prep at school, but after the end of the school days like a little after school club. It was pretty dull and I'm fairly sure nobody felt left out not attending.

Floggingmolly Thu 13-Oct-16 08:35:40

She'll be expected to join in, I'm afraid hmm. You can't choose a school which elects to educate it's children in the Catholic faith because it's a good school academically and then discard the (fairly fundamental, actually!) bits you don't want.
Besides if it's that good and happens to be over subscribed, a non baptised child won't get a place anyway.
You clearly didn't understand the first principles of faith schools...

HoggleIsMyFriend Thu 13-Oct-16 08:40:50

In our school the sacrament prep (there are 3 spread out over the time in primary) is done in school. They are also at mass almost every week. Religious education is be catholic and they pray 4 times in the school day. Past P4 they celebrate May and October (Mary's months) will a rosary every day.

I often wonder how they have time to actually teach the children! 🤔😉 But they do! It's a great school and a large minority of the children are not catholic.

Inmyownlittlecorner Thu 13-Oct-16 09:02:12

My DD is in a Catholic school & we're very much not Catholic.
We live in London & it was the closest (over the road) school & the others are quite a walk away.
She goes to class mass & says the prayers, but totally understands that DH & I don't believe. There are quite a few children who's parents have the same Humanistic approach as us. She is in yr3 & won't be making her first holy communion, none of the teachers expect her too & everyone is happy with that. The children who are doing it at the local church do their prep in school, in another room once a week, the children who aren't or who are doing it in another parish stay in the classroom & do whatever the lesson is.
A faith school would not have been our first choice, but DD is happy & the school has a sensible approach to other beliefs.

Hersetta427 Thu 13-Oct-16 09:54:00

In our area the catholic and COE schools are small and therefore you would not get in unless you were baptised and a regular churchgoer. We were in the fortunate position where all the schools in our town are rated good or above so we instead chose our nearest community school.

If you applied for a catholic school even though you are not catholic, do you know that you would get in as usually non catholic children are at the bottom of the admission criteria list.

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 13-Oct-16 10:03:07

My 3 are in catholic and we are non s re their best mates. I don't really know how much they pray tbh, I don't find it overtly religious. Ds1's classmates who are Catholic did their first communion recently, they announce whe the prep classes are in the newsletter but it is all after school time. They teach about other religions in re as well as Christianity and they do it in an inclusive way rather than looking down on other religions. Although they do a fair amount of fundraising for catholic charities, chosen by a child led school council, they also raise funds for others. For example their harvest festival collection was for the local food bank and this weekend there is a fun day fundraiser for Calais. Our lack of religion has never been a problem.

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 13-Oct-16 10:03:42

My 3 are in catholic and we are non s re their best mates. I don't really know how much they pray tbh, I don't find it overtly religious. Ds1's classmates who are Catholic did their first communion recently, they announce whe the prep classes are in the newsletter but it is all after school time. They teach about other religions in re as well as Christianity and they do it in an inclusive way rather than looking down on other religions. Although they do a fair amount of fundraising for catholic charities, chosen by a child led school council, they also raise funds for others. For example their harvest festival collection was for the local food bank and this weekend there is a fun day fundraiser for Calais. Our lack of religion has never been a problem.

LIZS Thu 13-Oct-16 10:13:33

Think it depends on the mix of the school and how popular it is. Until recently non RC children would not have got a place at the RC primary, or only a handful, as it was oversubscribed and gave practising faith priority but it has just expanded to 3-form intake which will inevitably alter the mix of faiths within the school. Religion has a very strong presence currently and majority will regularly attend one of 3 linked churches in the area.

freethebiscuit Thu 13-Oct-16 11:08:42

Thanks all for your responses. We live in Ireland (also posted in Craicnet but more traffic here) & choices for non Catholics are very limited. Fair enough we live in a Catholic country, but I find it hard that religion can inform whether or not you get a decent education in today's day and age! I am open minded and obviously do want the best education for my child (poster above mentioned I didn't understand reason for faith schools?- by the time we moved house and I had my daughter down for the only non denominational one in our area- still 10 minute drive away)- she was the 100-odd applicant for the 2017 intake so can't rely on the fact she will get in there)

Floggingmolly Thu 13-Oct-16 13:54:48

Isn't the place coming down with Educate Together schools these days??

freethebiscuit Thu 13-Oct-16 14:42:24

That's the one Floggingmolly where she's miles down the list. Suspect people will drop out when offers are made and she might get an offer in time but not a given as they are good schools and the one in our locality has a great name for itself

SprogletsMum Thu 13-Oct-16 14:47:41

My 2 school age dc go to a Catholic school. All the prep for holy communion is done outside of school, in church on a Sunday. Ds hates having to go to mass but dd doesn't mind. I'm not religious at all but think it's nice that they are learning about a religion. They have had a new headteacher this year and it seems like the school is a bit less strictly Catholic now.

ThanksForAllTheFish Sat 22-Oct-16 12:27:13

DD goes to a catholic school and is not baptised. She joins in with prayers and goes to mass as I didn't want to exclude her from that part of the education. I think it would have been silly to chose the school and then exclude her from a fundamental part of the schools ethos.

With regards to first communion I know that will be something we will need to look at next year. I have always said she can make the decision herself. If she wants to get baptised and do first communion she can but if not then it's ok. I should mention DH is Catholic and I have no religion. I know if she did make the choice to get baptised and do communion then MIL would be ecstatic and has offered to pay for the communion dress etc. I think the way it's looking at the moment she will choose not to.

We are in Scotland so it will be different than the way things work in Ireland (or the rest of the U.K.), but I know you can request your child be excluded for religious activities. The reality of that I think would be impractical as it is a large part of the day and due to the CfE it crosses into other lessons.

I have also found the schools attitude to be fine and welcoming and no issues re: religion or a lack of.

Purplelooby Mon 24-Oct-16 00:42:54

We are non-Catholic with my son in a Catholic school, but we are practicing Christians. For me, it's lovely that he comes home talking and asking about God, but I'm pretty sure my atheist friends would not be happy with it. HTH

LucyBabs Mon 24-Oct-16 00:50:43

free my dd is 8, just started 2nd class so we're into communion year..so far we've found out 20 children out of 86 won't be making their Communion. My dd thankfully has no interest in religion or mass but we've made it clear if she changes her mind she can make her Communion.

My ds started school in September and I've noticed religion is big this year.. The religion book is being sent home everyday. The school know we are of no religion so if ds doesn't bother with prayers etc there is no issue.

For us personally what we talk about and teach at home is what matters

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