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Catholic school

(31 Posts)
purpleme12 Sun 05-Mar-17 22:27:55

Is a catholic school lots better than a normal school? my little girl is not due to start school til next September but to be honest I'm worried shitless about the whole thing.

2014newme Sun 05-Mar-17 22:28:50

Depends on the school obviously

PurpleDaisies Sun 05-Mar-17 22:29:27

It depends. Some are great. Some are awful. They're not all the same.

Are you catholic? How do you feel about the religious aspect?

Thistly Sun 05-Mar-17 22:33:57

Some schools are better than others. Full stop.

The only way to decide if your loCal catholic school is better than a non catholic school, is to visit them, meet the teachers, and ask them a few questions about the things you consider important in education, and decide from there.
There is no blanket rule that one type of school is better than another.
( I would say some ofsted satisfactory schools are better than some ofsted good schools, myself, but that is just my opinion)

To make it more complicated, what might be a better school for your older child might not be a better school for your tougher child, so you have to give that some consideration.
I empathize with being worried shitless.. All of a sudden your child is subject to a machine, after having been the object of your loving care for four years.
I hope it goes well.

Thistly Sun 05-Mar-17 22:34:58

Younger not tougher, (although maybe both, heh heh)

purpleme12 Sun 05-Mar-17 22:44:36

I don't know how I feel about the religion side of it really purple. I'm not catholic I'm church of England although don't go to church anymore (guessing that would have to change). I don't like all the religion shoved down your throat and the more 'born again Christian ideas' and converting people but I'm guessing it wouldn't be like that. but I'm not entirely sure how I'd feel about it. as I say I'm not catholic so it's a bit different anyway. I guess I'm just really scared about my child starting school and want the best for her really

MtheWad Sun 05-Mar-17 22:52:17

I went to a catholic school and all the children in my family (excluding my own dd) go to catholic schools.
They are quite strict with who they let in. It depends on the priest of the parish but usually they won't sign the forms unless they've seen you at church. My nephews school only allows children in who were christened within the first 3 months of their life. And they incorporate religion into the school day a lot. My primary school had the priest come in every now and again so the older kids could go to confession. And they would take us to church for Ash Wednesday and other religious holidays.

Vegansnake Sun 05-Mar-17 22:54:11

We had awful experiences with a Catholic primary,but the Catholic secondary was amazing..luck of the draw I belive

purpleme12 Sun 05-Mar-17 22:57:24

Do you think it's worth looking around now? can you do that?
just cos I mean I'm not having her go to confession or anything cos I wasn't brought up that way (church of England) so I'd be bringing her up like that if anything not confessions. and if it's things like that that might change my mind anyway.

ArriettyClock1 Sun 05-Mar-17 22:58:41

As other's have said - it's depends on the school.

The catholic primary our children attended was outstanding and over subscribed, but it could easily have been just as outstanding due to the exceptional leadership, small size and demographic if it was secular.

ThermoScan Sun 05-Mar-17 23:06:06

I'm not catholic but my children attend a catholic school.
Religion is important there and taught as a subject in it's own right as you would English and Maths. This is acceptable to me ,despite being non-religious myself, as I see it as a way to practise handwriting and learn about history.
I find the discipline good , and there is quite a lot of low level charitable work and fundraising (by that I mean frequent but not asking for large donations which I like because otherwise I wouldn't bother to do anything for charity).
I haven't come across any negative aspects so far.
They can take Holy Communion in year 4 and my children won't qualify but neither will 50% of their year so not a problem.
You mentioned about going to church again? It hasn't made any difference to what I do. I go once per year to a carol service and that is it. The entry requirements demand baptism but that's it, although I know other faith schools that require a letter of church attendance. You will have to check that out locally.

Patriciathestripper1 Sun 05-Mar-17 23:08:17

Our Dd goes to a catholic school even though we are not catholic (Or anything religion really )
They do teach a lot of Catholicism and attend church during school time.
Our Dd joins in but didn't want to do the holy communion.
I find the school teachers and other children very caring and considerate towards each other and they have a lot of respect for others which is really nice. They go a lot of fundraising and community based projects and I think the school is great.
There are about 6 children in the school who are non Catholics.
If our Dd wanted to follow the catholic faith we would support her descision but she dosnt.

purpleme12 Sun 05-Mar-17 23:08:52

That's interesting thank you thermo. I don't mind them being taught RE I'd expect it really. I think it helps to learn about all different religions (I'm guessing they'd teach about others as well as their own)

purpleme12 Sun 05-Mar-17 23:10:19

Thank you patricia it sounds like they're all very different then. do you think I could visit it now? or would that be stupid if she's not going to start til next year?

Leftatthecorner Sun 05-Mar-17 23:13:22

Go online and have a look at the admissions policy. Voluntary aided faith schools can set their own criteria which generally means that practising Catholics get priority. So, if it's a half decent school, most Catholics in the area will go there, hence the frequent oversubscription.

Make no mistake, if it's a Catholic school the children will be taught Catholic doctrine, which is sort of the point really. If you're not comfortable with that, look elsewhere.

If your child isnt a baptised Catholic then she wont be allowed to be involved in the Confession/Reconcilliation/Communion side of things which could make her feeling somewhat left out. Catholic schools are predominantly for Catholics so Id be surprised if you got in, but do be aware of what you're signing up to. It isnt like CofE.

purpleme12 Sun 05-Mar-17 23:15:57

Thank you. I don't understand why there's not a church of England school as well really. Maybe it just depends where you live.

Leftatthecorner Sun 05-Mar-17 23:18:15

There are way more CofE schools in England so it may be just a quirk of geography that there isnt one near you.

MtheWad Sun 05-Mar-17 23:41:41

If I were you I'd give them a ring and see if you could go have a look around? Or talk to the head to see how much religion is involved in their day other than an RE lesson. That's the only way you'll know if your comfortable sending your lo there.

purpleme12 Sun 05-Mar-17 23:48:50

I've just googled there is a church of England school (although further away so I guess she's less likely to get in there anyway) but I didn't know about it.

I'm just so scared about all of this I was never this scared sending her to nursery

ErrolTheDragon Mon 06-Mar-17 00:31:00

Good faith schools are generally oversubscribed so your child may not get a place if they've not been baptised and you don't attend the church regularly. If you can get a place without jumping through hoops, chances are its not particularly good.

Now is certainly not too soon to be checking out schools.

unfortunateevents Mon 06-Mar-17 00:37:49

I would check the admissions criteria carefully before visiting and a quick call to the school will also confirm if they generally go far enough down the criteria to admit non-Catholics. All Catholic schools around us are over-subscribed and there were several years when not even all Catholic children got places. One by one, all the schools have increased their PAN so solving that problem but I think there are still few/no places for non-Catholics. You may find that you don't have to worry about church-going or what religious aspects your DD might be exposed to as there may not be a snowball's chance in hell of her actually getting in!

isittheholidaysyet Wed 08-Mar-17 19:07:59

You need to see your local school. It's not too early to visit.

Where I am, 30-40% of the children in my kids catholic school are Catholic, so obviously the majority aren't. If you are in the South East of England, you may find Catholic schools very oversubscribed by Catholics.

Catholic schools exist to teach Catholic kids (other children whose parents wish them to receive a Catholic education, are welcome if there is space for them). Whereas Church of England schools exist to teach everyone.
Up to 10% of curriculum time can be given to RE. That will include things like Mass, Carol services, hymn practice as well as actual RE teaching.

How 'catholic' your catholic school is, really depends on the teachers and the amount of Catholic children who attend the school.

SecretsandLies2 Wed 08-Mar-17 19:26:17

If it is an outstanding Catholic school your DD is unlikely to get a place as there will probably be genuine Catholics - and those who pretend to be Catholic - ahead of you in the queue.

It is of course outrageous that those who finance faith schools - ie the taxpayer- should be refused places in them because they do not adhere to the particular irrational set of beliefs that the school promotes. The financial contributions of the faith groups to these schools are minimal.

Faith schools damage community cohesion. In some areas they result in segregation along racial lines. In others they offer the canny middle classes - and our politicians - the equivalent of a private education for free.
If we have to tolerate their existence, they should be funded 100% by the religions they promote.

MrsDoylesladder Wed 08-Mar-17 19:41:16

We're Catholics and the local catholic primary was second choice for us but the nearest local non-faith school was oversubscribed. There are a few non-catholic s in dd's class and they aren't excluded from stuff. I watch out for any heavy duty anti-scientific stuff but haven't spotted it. It is not an outstanding school. It requires improvement or whatever code is these days. RE is obviously a subject there - they do study other faiths. Dd is very able academically so my focus is on making sure they stretch her. She was very reluctant to socialise but school has really helped her with that. In other words, normal school stuff not freaky stuff. Better than my 70s Catholic education experience.
The whole starting school thing is scary. Any neighbours who can help with local intel?

Shamoffour Wed 08-Mar-17 19:48:15

I'm Catholic, my kids are at a catholic school and we got to mass. If it's a good school your chances are or getting in are slim.
In all honesty I would not recommend it unless you are fully on board with the religious side of it. My experience is that religion plays a huge part in the day to day education.
Prayers are when the get in, before lunch, after lunch and at the end of the day. They do some form of RE most days. The majority of year3 is spent preparing for first holy communion and first forgiveness. There is mass at the school at least once a month.

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