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Job in a catholic primary(18 Posts)
Second thread today but thought I’d keep them separate!
I’m applying for a part time teaching role at a catholic primary school. I’m not catholic and being a practising Catholic was only ‘desirable’ in the person spec.
I am quite a spiritual person and understand the importance of a spiritual and religious life (my partner is a Christian) so have no issues with working in a faith school. I also don’t mind doing the Catholic Teaching Certificate course. What do you reckon they’ll think? Do you think that for equality reasons they have to put that being a practising Catholic is only desirable whereas it’s more or less essential?
Any advice gratefully received. Thank you!
Hi think I’ve just commented on your other thread
I worked at a catholic school - the question never came up at interview and most of the staff weren’t catholic - even the headteacher was unmarried with children.
We did all the church visits and had priests in school, but otherwise no different to any other school. We never discussed god with the children - same as any other school really.
Most of the staff at my Catholic Primary aren’t Catholic. Also never had to do the Catholic teaching certificate. It won’t be an issue unless there is another candidate equal to you who is Catholic!
Brilliant - thanks! I’ve never worked in a faith school so had no idea what the deal was. It seems like a lovely community school so fingers crossed.
The only issue might be about career progression - in quite a few RC schools you can't get into SLT without being a practising Catholic.
That makes sense to SMT. To be honest I’m not massively keen to be in SMT. I’m a SEN specialist as well as general primary teacher so I’d probably go down the that route.
Thank you for all your replies - some things to mull over!
I guess it depends on how 'catholic' the school is? At my DS school the class teachers did morning and afternoon prayers with the children - and they were all catholic.
Obvs you could learn the words, but would you feel comfortable doing that?
I would say that Green Tulip's experience is unusual. A Catholic Primary School should have an Act of Worship every day and 10% of curriculum time is RE. However, non Catholic teachers are welcome and supported with RE etc. You will be asked to support the Catholic ethos of the school and expected to take part in and lead Acts of Worship.
I would expect a question at interview about your willingness to support the Catholic ethos of the school. A simple ‘Yes’ would be adequate, but if you can answer with greater depth (i.e. showing an awareness of how often the classes/whole school visit the local Church etc) then that would be better.
Their last Diocesan Inspection report should be on their website, that will give you lots of info on their approach.
Schools do vary though, all the ones in my area require a Catholic Education Service application form with a section signed by your priest.
I had an interview for a Catholic primary last year and there were several questions about the Catholic ethos. It was the worst interview I have ever had.
I've done my best to erase it from my memory but two of the questions were:
What makes a Catholic school different from a secular school?
How will you uphold the Catholic ethos of the school?
I shouldn't have really gone for it as at least one of the staff was deeply religious and quite vocally anti abortion on Twitter.
Well in our (Catholic School) staffroom this week there was much outrage at the Alabama decision so I do think that it depends on the school. I was also asked the above questions and would recommend preparing for them. Be honest and say that you will need help with prayers etc but if you find it difficult to talk about God and Jesus then it probably isn't the job for you.
I went for an interview at a Catholic school and was asked how I would support the Catholic ethos. I gave blah blah supportive answers and got the job. However, I was dismayed at how they actually treated female pupils and I was not allowed to give an opinion on anything as a non Catholic. This was twenty odd years ago but be aware it can be a very strange environment for a critical thinker.
I've taught in a Catholic secondary and at interview had to say I would support the catholic ethos of the school. Had to attend Mass and do daily prayers with tutor groups which was never a comfortable experience. Easier once I started with sixth form tutor groups because we did a thought for the day instead of a prayer.
in other ways, it was like any other school and only two thirds of the kids were Catholic - even fewer practising. However, the feeder primaries were much more religious and most teachers were Catholic. May be different in other places.
I'd research thoroughly before applying. It was 30 years ago, admittedly, but when I went for interview at a Catholic school, I found out I would be expected to attend Mass at the local Catholic church every Sunday so the children would see me there. I was a practicing Catholic at the time, but the school was nowhere near where I lived and there was no way I was going to traipse out there each Sunday just so the children could observable piety! I turned them down. They were most disappointed as it was actually quite high up their list of requirements that their teachers were practicing Catholics. I expect it is all very different now, but check before you apply.
Nothing to add on a teaching front (I am a teacher but not in Catholic) but my daughter is in reception at a Catholic school (we're Christian but not Catholic) and it is very religious- prayers 4 times a day, definite focus on bible stories in RE each week. We're happy with all that but it seems Catholic schools differ in their levels of Catholic-ness/Christian-ness if that makes sense.
My DS is at a Catholic primary. I’d say it’s quite religious but not overly so. God is brought into things such as protecting the environment, praying for pupils who are ill etc. Something terrible happened to one of the children some time ago and the school have been incredible. The mass for them was beautiful with the children singing (a pop song not a hymn) and a little corner of remembrance is maintained in the reception area. Catholic schools are not full of holy rollers. I’ve no idea who is/isn’t Catholic in my DS’s school. I’d approach it pretty much the same as any interview but upholding the ethos is an obvious question. Have a look through some websites for Catholic schools and you’ll get a good idea and realise that they are much the same as other schools...fund raising, SATs etc
I work in Education, but not teaching, and there always seem to be a lot of vacancies for Catholic schools. I think they may struggle to recruit. But many faith schools can be a bit overwhelming for non-faith practitioners. At one CofE school interview I was asked if I minded if the interviewers prayed at the end of the interview. I had already been asked the question about my faith and had replied that I didnt have a faith but respected that others did. My Christian friends were more upset than I about the prayers.
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