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DD started at CofE primary, where they are teaching Noah’s Ark as fact

(76 Posts)
user1493116493 Tue 22-Jan-19 19:56:58

DD started reception at CofE primary, where have found they are teaching Noah’s Ark as fact, surely not normal?

There was no indication Christianity would be taught this way, although head teacher changed for this term so could be their new influence?

I am an atheist, although I went to a CofE primary where the local Vicar taught a lesson each week, and it wasn’t the case there. I was always taught that bible stories were parables, not fact. None of my church going Christian friends believe in Noah’s ark (or admit to it perhaps).

Am I stupid to be surprised by the teaching at this school?

Choice of schools locally very poor, Ofsted 3-4, although the school we went for is a 2. If non-faith schools had been comparable we of course wouldn’t have picked this one.

Pud2 Tue 22-Jan-19 20:13:41

If it’s a Christian school then surely they will be teaching about the Christian faith? The faith is based on the bible which is presented as fact. Some stories were parables, as told by Jesus in the New Testament.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 22-Jan-19 20:21:05

Not all forms of Christianity believe in a literal interpretation of the first half of Genesis though Pud2. It would be unusual for CofE of RC to have a literal interpretation of Noah’s ark, but it isn’t unheard of.

When you say there was no indication Christianity would be taught this way, did you ask how it was taught?

Heratnumber7 Tue 22-Jan-19 20:27:23

Not all bible stories are parables OP. Noah's Ark isn't a parable.

YABU as an atheist to send your child to a Christian school, and YABU too for not enquiring how they teach Christianity before sending your child there.

Molakai Tue 22-Jan-19 20:28:52

What do you mean by " teaching Noah's Ark as fact"?

pileoflaundry Tue 22-Jan-19 20:34:32

I'd expect most schools of a particular religion to teach that religion's holy book as fact.

I recommend getting a few different children's picture book versions of Noah's Ark. You could then discuss the differences; different animals, going into the Ark in a different order, different Arks, whether Noah's wife appears, that sort of thing. My children did this in a religious setting and apart from it blowing their minds, it was a good introduction to critical thinking and a great basis for future discussions.

riotlady Tue 22-Jan-19 20:35:59

To be fair, I think it’s hard to teach it to reception age kids any way other than literally? As a Christian school they can’t really say “oh it’s just a story, it’s not real” but it’s hard to convey the nuance of “it’s in the Bible and it’s important but we don’t quite take it literally” to 4/5 year olds

Ginormoustrawberry Tue 22-Jan-19 20:41:07

YABU you chose to send your child to a CofE school based on your belief they would revived a better standard of education. Whilst I can understand why you’ve done that you then can’t complain about the faith ‘issues’

Suck it up buttercup or move schools

PurpleDaisies Tue 22-Jan-19 20:46:53

How exactly are they doing it?
To be honest, I’m not sure anyone became a Christian because they were taught bible stories as fact when they were in primary school.

3boysandabump Tue 22-Jan-19 20:52:10

If you don't want your child to be taught Christian beliefs don't send them to a faith school!

EdwardScissorskills Tue 22-Jan-19 20:52:21

Is it a voluntary aided or voluntary controlled school? If the latter, they should be teaching the locally agreed syllabus as community schools do; if the former, they do have more flexibility but in practice are probably following their Diocesan curriculum (because why bother starting from scratch?). Your daughter is in reception, and this is the C of E - I woukd be surprised to be honest. Have a look at the school website which should explain the RE curriculum. Then speak to the school if you still don't understand what is going on.

AppleKatie Tue 22-Jan-19 20:52:41

To be fair, I think it’s hard to teach it to reception age kids any way other than literally? As a Christian school they can’t really say “oh it’s just a story, it’s not real” but it’s hard to convey the nuance of “it’s in the Bible and it’s important but we don’t quite take it literally” to 4/5 year olds

This. With bells on.

We say all sorts of things to five year olds that are without nuance -

Santa is real
Tooth fairy also real
Don’t brush teeth they will go black
Carrots make you see in the dark

OlennasWimple Tue 22-Jan-19 20:53:04

This is potentially dodgy - it's explicitly prohibited to teach creationism as fact in schools in England, but parables and Bible stories are slightly different.

I'd counter it with a good dollop of atheism at home, along with tales of Nuh, Sannuh and all the other flood stories that appear in different religions / cultures

ShowOfHands Tue 22-Jan-19 20:56:19

YABU as an atheist to send your child to a Christian school

Round here all state primaries are CofE. There are no alternatives except private or catholic or drive 35 miles every day to a secular school which is massively oversubscribed and you wouldn't get in anyway.

People always claim it is a choice. For most people, it is not.

Greensleeves Tue 22-Jan-19 20:59:43

I see the usual headbangers are here with the "you CHOSE to send your child to a faith school" mantra. Most parents don't choose it. They are allocated a place based on catchment and a good proportion of the state schools that are funded by their taxes are faith schools. This is an increasingly embarrassing and anachronistic failure of our state education system.

In the OP's situation, I see 4 options:

1) Complain to the school's SLT about the way in which stories are being taught as factual, and hope they change their approach (unlikely)

2) Ask that your child be withdrawn from all religious teaching/assemblies - this is your legal right and the school must comply

3) Look for a different school that doesn't indoctrinate children - not always possible, depending on catchment and availability of places

4) Counteract the indoctrination by introducing your child to a wider range of ideas, stories, perceptions (and a basic grounding in logic) outside school.

Imstickingwiththisone Tue 22-Jan-19 21:00:21

We have this OP and I just counter it with telling my DD that not everyone believes it is true, different faiths believe different things and some people don't believe in any. If she asks what I believe then I tell her but I don't mention it otherwise. When she is older I hope it can be a lesson in critical thinking!

PPs who say yabu for using a faith school, not everyone has a choice. There are loads of areas in UK where faith school is your only choice without a massive trek and since they're funded by taxpayers I don't think anyone is being unreasonable to use them despite not being a practicing christian. I think it's wrong but it is what it is. Home influences will have more bearing on your DC than school in the long run.

TheFaerieQueene Tue 22-Jan-19 21:01:55

Religion has no place in state schools.

User478 Tue 22-Jan-19 21:03:19

If it helps, there probably was a big flood. Flood mythology appears in many societies and can probably be traced back to a major event.

In Greek mythology It's apparently what happened to Pandora (of the Box Fame)'s daughter.

https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/noahs-ark.htm

lakehouse Tue 22-Jan-19 21:05:51

The prize for the stupidest post I've seen in a while goes to...

flatpackbox Tue 22-Jan-19 21:06:55

I wouldn't worry about it OP. DD declared that believing in Jesus/God was the same as believing in fairies and elves in Year 2 of primary .... some people do, some people don't.

Now at secondary, the religion taught at primary is long forgotten.

In rural areas you often don't have a choice of a non CofE school, in our case they were all faith schools - closest school was six miles away.

PoutySprout Tue 22-Jan-19 21:08:02

We say all sorts of things to five year olds that are without nuance -

Santa is real
Tooth fairy also real
Don’t brush teeth they will go black

Have never said any of those things to a child.

Carrots make you see in the dark

That one has some semblance of truth though.

SinceYouAskMe Tue 22-Jan-19 21:19:07

It’s highly unlikely that a British CofE primary school teacher genuinely believes that Noah’s Ark is a fact: the logistics of the exercise don’t really stack up even before you start wondering about dinosaurs, plants and genetic bottlenecks. I assume it’s being taught as a story but without an explicit “this is just a story” disclaimer.

Witchend Tue 22-Jan-19 22:18:42

Carrots make you see in the dark

That one has some semblance of truth though.

That was WWII propaganda, designed to put the Germans off the success of radar. Not truth.

Df also used to tell me if I ate up my potatoes it would both make my hair curl and grow hairs on my chest. Neither of those are true either.

PoutySprout Tue 22-Jan-19 22:42:55

🤗

Greensleeves Tue 22-Jan-19 22:46:24

Don't be so sure SinceYouAskMe. I trained with one who thought wolves were mythical creatures and wondered where the stars went during the day.

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