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To that expect DDs Non Denominational community primary school should NOT make her say prayers??

36 replies

DabblesInDarknessWithALightOn · 27/10/2007 20:30

They do.

I specifically did not choose a church school as I was brought up catholic and I do not wish to inflict that upon my children (each to their own this is not an attack on those who are religious)

butm they make her say prayers, to 'god' to be thankful (before lunch time, etc)

I don't like it. I want to say something but am not sure how to apporach it as I think her teacher is quite 'christian' as she mentioned 'God' during a recent meeting (with regards to harvest festival)

OP posts:

demonaid · 27/10/2007 20:34

Is it non-demominational (i.e. Christian, but no particular denomination) or non-religious? There's a difference.

You have a right to request for her to be withdrawn from any religious observance, if you don't want her to participate.


wheresthehamster · 27/10/2007 20:35

It is a requirement for state schools to hold a daily act of worship.


UnionJack · 27/10/2007 20:36

This happened in my dc's school. A Mum complained about the prayers and the Head stopped it.
But I felt the prayers were a way of the children giving thanks for things, taking time to think. She will not be harmed by saying them. I bet you said them when you were at school.

I am not at all religious, btw, just feel its nice for children to show gratitude for things.

Do you have a problem with them doing a nativity at Christmas?


wheresthehamster · 27/10/2007 20:38

Wow! What about all the parents who DID like it?


DabblesInDarknessWithALightOn · 27/10/2007 20:38

no no problem with her doing nativity. But a problem with her having to 'pray'.

OP posts:

UnionJack · 27/10/2007 20:40

They were not amused. The Head, now left, was the type that if someone made enough of a fuss about something,she would cave.

We have a new head now, so perhaps they will come back. they still do little prayers in assembly, but not before lunch.


policywonk · 27/10/2007 20:41

This sounds OTT to me. Have a word with the teacher, and if no joy, go to the head.

I remember that I used to keep my eyes open during prayers at school, didn't mouth along to The Lord's Prayer, didn't say 'amen' and so on - I never got into trouble. You could tell her to keep her eyes open if you really don't want her to participate?

Have you seen the other thread about atheism and primary schools? There's lots of advice on there.


Heated · 27/10/2007 20:42

Wherethehamster is right - it's a requirement for primary and secondary schools to have a daily act of worship. The exception is if the school's population has a certain % of pupils of a different faith and then they can dis-apply.

If you felt strongly about it you can ask your child to be removed from religious assemblies, services, nativity plays & RE as Brethren children were at my school but I think you have to be pretty fundamentalist to do this.


onebadmother · 27/10/2007 20:46

And see yesterday's thread about atheism in primaries.
Non-denominational is, agreed, different from non-Christian, but all state schools, i thought, are the latter? Am I right, Wheres?

BTW, although there is a requirement to have a daily act of worship (very wrong imo) lots of schools don't do this - they lose a couple of ofsted points for not doing so, but that's it.


meemar · 27/10/2007 20:48

Problem is dabbles, if you ask for her to be excused from the christian activities, would that not include the nativity? Or would you be able to choose what she can and can't participate in?


wheresthehamster · 27/10/2007 20:49

In our school assembly the children are told to close their eyes and put their hands together then the HT says (e.g.) Dear God Thank you for all the new equipment we had this week/thank you for all our teachers who look after us/ etc and the children repeat parrot fashion. I'm still trying to work out how I feel about this type of praying. I mean these sort of things are nothing to do with God.
I only go into assembly once a week so I don't know if these 'prayers' are said every day.


DabblesInDarknessWithALightOn · 27/10/2007 20:59

No, look I dont wnat to make her different so I wont kick up a fuss, but i have explained to her that'god' is somehting ppl believe in, and if she doesnt want to participate to explain to her teacher that her mummy has said...
etc... I might have explained it badly the first time cos she thought god was an

OP posts:

Skribble · 27/10/2007 21:06

Our supposed non-denominational school has the local church of scotland minister in for asemblies, they sing hymms and go to the church at easter.

I don't mind nativity in the same way I would be happy for them to celebrate other religions special days. quite happy for her tolearn about christianity as log as they learn about other religions too.

DD went on a visit to the church recently with the school and has now asked to be christened .

DD does sometimes go to church with granny, I don't mind that as that is granny's religion and I am quite happy for her to learn about it, but I don't think school is the place to be singing hymms and getting the impression that christianity is the be all and end all of religion.


Heated · 27/10/2007 21:31

A lot of schools bring in ministers to deliver the daily act of worship because the message is more accepted if coming from a bone fide minister, rather than the teacher. Usually they are from the area they serve, and have links with other youth groups such as cubs and brownies and is all part of giving a sense of community.

I like my children giving thanks for what they have, knowledge about religion is all good gen knowledge (having had to explain the creation story and who Delilah was to sixth formers), they enjoy taking part in the ritual and celebrations like Easter and Christmas and it will allow them to make an informed decision about what, if anything, they believe when older.


Reallytired · 27/10/2007 21:36

"DD went on a visit to the church recently with the school and has now asked to be christened . "
Skribble ,

I think your dd must have a lot of mixed messages if you let her go to church with her granny yet you are angry that she wants to be baptised.

Is she old enough to make an independent decision? In the Church of England a child has to be at least 12 for confirmation classes. She would have to be baptised as an adult because her parents don't believe. I expect that thought of attending confirmation classes and church for 6 months would put her off if she is not serious about it.

I have no idea what the minimum age for adult baptism is in the Church of Scotland.


Lio · 27/10/2007 21:46

wheresthehamster, is that right, a daily act of worship? Or is it just 'regular' (i.e. could be annual and still regular, just infrequent)?


BabyBaggage · 27/10/2007 22:01

Me too Policywonk!
All these years later it actually seems quite a mature solution. Independence and integrity intact - and nobody else put-out in the process.


wheresthehamster · 27/10/2007 22:02

As far as I know a 'mainly Christian daily act of worship' is a legal requirement. I can't find anything to say this has been superceded and I think even recently HTs have voted for it to stay. Will try and google.


policywonk · 27/10/2007 22:10

I really don't think anyone else ever noticed, but at least I wasn't doing something I didn't want to do. In fact, I think it is a bit disrespectful to say a prayer in which you do not believe - like having a church wedding when you haven't attended church for years, or turning up for the Christmas Eve mass because you like to sing carols when you're a bit pissed, but otherwise have no religious interest at all (I am guilty of that one).


caterpiller · 27/10/2007 22:22

Ive had this problem and IME I'm just not taken seriously when I object.

Surely praying should be done at home with one's parents if they wish to? I don't think schools should have the right to take it upon themselves to interfere in this area. It's really cheeky.

I get very angry about this subject.


LaylaandSethsmum · 27/10/2007 22:30

Schools absolutely have the right to have prayers, sing hymns, do the nativity, discuss christianity, ALL schools have to have a "broadly christian" ethos even the non denominational schools, they also have to have a daily act of worship.This is , at the end of the day, a Christian country.

If it makes you angry them remove your child from lessons/assembly.


onebadmother · 27/10/2007 22:54

remove your child from lessons??!


mummytoaswashbucklerdd · 27/10/2007 23:03

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaylaandSethsmum · 27/10/2007 23:03

I was thinking RE, groups such as Jehovahs Witness don't allow their kids to do the RE stuff do they?

Why should schools not have a daily act of worship etc etc? the degree to which they are 'religious' varies .

I say all this and I am not a particularly religious person I do have a faith , of sorts, but I dont pray or go to church, I just see this as important as is learning about other faiths and methods of worship, i think it can encourage tolerance.


SatanGeorge · 27/10/2007 23:07

I have no objection to my children saying prayers in school, as long as they understand (as much as their age allows) what it means.

DS1 (10) no longer prays. He simply sits quietly instead. He has known since a young age that I am not a Christian but that I will leave his choice of belief system to him, although he does seem to be leaning more towards my beliefs at the moment.

DS2 (6) still bows his head and mouths the words but he has started questioning more 'who' God is. Makes for some interesting discussions.

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