Do pupils at Scottish primary schools still have to pray ever day?

(19 Posts)
traceyracer Mon 28-Oct-19 17:47:11

And do they still have the child listen to a minister talk about Christianity at assemblies and have to sing Christian hymes?

I had to at school even though I'm atheist, I don't feel this is right. IMO it's fine for schools to teach about religion, but to actually make kids practice a religion is another thing. I feel this requirement is outdated as I don't think Christianity has such a strong grip on the UK anymore, there are more atheists and more multi-culturism which brings a bigger variety of religions.

OP’s posts: |
fluffygreenmonsterhoody Mon 28-Oct-19 17:50:20

No they don’t. They learn about all the religious festivals at my DS school. He insisted we go out to dinner for Shabbat the other day...

magicautumnalhues Mon 28-Oct-19 17:54:18

You always have a local catholic option in Scotland though, I’m not sure that’s the same in RUK. Personally I can’t get excited about school prayer - over 90 percent of the current population managed to avoid indoctrination.

sleepyhead Mon 28-Oct-19 18:04:14

Not at ds's school. I think a lot depends on the inclination of the head in terms of any religious content at weekly assembly. Ours are completely secular but a friend reports a brief prayer at hers (Not daily or in classroom though).

SpaghettiSharon Mon 28-Oct-19 18:06:00

It does seem to depend on the head. I don’t work in faith schools and none of the non faith schools I’ve worked in have done prayer or collective worship. There are many other (much better) ways of teaching children to be good citizens.

Clangus00 Mon 28-Oct-19 18:12:57

We don’t do a daily prayer, but we do sing hymns at assembly and the minister comes to the whole school assemblies once a week.

prettybird Mon 28-Oct-19 20:37:33

Non-denominational primary schools in Glasgow (especially the multi-cultural ones) tend to do an assembly each term which will concentrate on the different religions Festivals as appropriate: Christmas, Eid, Diwali.... along the lines of "Some people believe that...."

As a parent, I actually found them quite educational blush

Apart from that, as far as I can make out, most of them ignore "the collective act of daily worship that is broadly Christian in nature" (I think that's roughly what the law says), a) because most schools don't have a daily assembly (nowhere large enough to hold the whole school) and b) (a let out in the legislation wink) often the pupil cohort itself isn't "broadly Christian" in make-up confused

At ds' old primary, I think the vicar came in once a term...but then, so did the imam grin

No idea what happens at the RC schools - although the local RC primary is almost entirely populated by Muslims and Sikhs wink


BigFatLiar Mon 28-Oct-19 20:43:40

Went to a catholic secondary and we didn't have prayers. We did RE but it was same as any other schools, learning about different belief systems (national syllabus). Only different thing was the priest came and said mass for the school on holidays of obligation.

museumum Mon 28-Oct-19 20:53:27

My kids’ school certainly doesn’t and it has plenty of Muslim and Sikh children. The assemblies are themed on the different UN rights of the child.

traceyracer Mon 28-Oct-19 20:54:40

The primary school I went to was a protestant one (ASAIK all the local ones were), and there was daily praying (the "our father who art in heaven" one) every morning in class which was done before anything else. On top of that I think we had at least a couple assemblies per week having to sing from that Junior Phrase book. Those hymmes were not only awful it just feels like so much wasted time, if all the time they had us praying and singing hymmes was used instead to say teach a 2nd language (something my primary school didn't do at all) I would be totally fluent in that language.

OP’s posts: |
BigFatLiar Mon 28-Oct-19 21:38:04

Oops, sorry I mentioned the secondary school. Strangely enough before going to a RC secondary I went to a RC primary.
We said prayers in the morning, grace before lunch. The priest came to talk to us occaisionaly, as at secondary - mass on Holidays of Obligation. We also had catechism (occiaionally) plus when the time came preperation for first communion and preperation for confirmation. This was some time ago (not quite slate and chalk times). Nobody saw it as a problem as the parents had chosen a catholic school and expected a catholic education. The non-denom school was only a few hundred yards away, so there was no great difference in travel time between going to one or the other. You wanted a catholic education you went to the catholic school, you didn't want a catholic education you didn't.

Gingerkittykat Mon 28-Oct-19 22:02:58

I went to primary school in the 80s and even then we didn't do daily prayers. We had a weekly assembly with hymns but that was it.

DDs primary school had the minister visit regularly, they go to church across the road once a term. I sat with the minister at a school meal once and she is a really nice woman, even though I don't think she belongs in school.

I did think of taking DD out because I am an atheist but didn't want to make her different. The kirk services bored her anyway and didn't lead her to a life of religion.

prettybird Mon 28-Oct-19 22:25:25

We (and ds) are atheists too. I don't think his primary school ever took them to church (they'd have had to leave over 60% of the kids behind wink).

I was at primary school (Bearsden Primary) in the late 60s and we went to church at least once a term.

It was the only time I condoned ds"dogging" at secondary school - not that they took a register at the church service wink (in fact I didn't even realise that they had a service at first - I think it was only once a year, but ds just didn't go to it - and the school didn't enforce it)

cabbageking Tue 29-Oct-19 12:54:33

You may find lots of schools have a act of worship in the classroom.
They may even have a prayer corner/ space or display where children can contemplate, share a worry, there may be a range of questions specific to that class or school or theme. They might say Grace or prayer at lunch, and end of day? You would need to ask your child about his classroom and what goes on. There might be a display in school that covers many areas. They might learn a hymn/ song in music to share whole school perhaps?

WooMaWang Tue 29-Oct-19 13:03:01

I was at a non-denominational primary school in the 80s and we had to do the Lord's Prayer every morning. Plus the assemblies you describe. There was even more religion involved in the local catholic equivalent.

It had definitely changed by the time my DS1 started school in 2005.

WooMaWang Tue 29-Oct-19 13:06:01

I used to dog the church visits at high school too. And cringe at the assemblies when they involved the minister.

I would really object to daily prayers or saying grace if my children's schools did them. It's just not ok to expect everyone to observe your religion, especially if they've chosen a non-denominational school.

BreconBeBuggered Tue 29-Oct-19 16:22:45

As others have said, it really depends on the HT and their vision of the school. DS1's Scottish non-denominational school suddenly went in for all-out indoctrination when they appointed a new head. DS2's C of E primary was much more relaxed and reflected the largely non-religious community they were serving.

reginafelangee Tue 29-Oct-19 16:28:26

At non denominational schools they don't have to and you can remove them from religious worship. They also explain to children that there are lots of different beliefs and that it's ok not to believe anything.

Catholic schools obviously are different. There it's multiple prayers a day with religion woven all through the curriculum.

prettybird Tue 29-Oct-19 16:28:41

I suppose the school could have been really inconvenienced if a wheen of parents chose to withdraw their children - as is their right - from the "acts of collective worship" wink

But so much of it depends on the make-up of the catchment. Which in turn will impact on the make-up of the Parent Council (if there is one) - although Parent Councils can themselves be taken over by parents with their own vested interests sad

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