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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:29 pm 
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Hi Everyone. Just needed some advice for my sister who has a child who will be in reception next year. Her nearest school is a C of E school and the school prospectus shows that they incorporate the Christian faith in the majority of their teaching as you would expect being a C of E school. They visit the local church on a weekly basis and collective worship daily. The school has excellent results and is rated outstanding by Ofsted. However my sister is concerned that by not being of the Christian faith, her daughter will not be able to participate in all school activities and that her daughter may feel left out. Does anyone have any experience of this? Is it better to choose an alternative which would be some distance away if she does not want her child to be taught in a religious setting? The other issue is all local schools are over subscribed so she may not even get an alternative.


Last edited by PROBSNAIVE on Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Location: Reading
My DD went to a CE primary.

I think it will depend on the general make up of the school. DDs school was quite mixed and I would guess that a large minority would not be Christian. I know that only 3 will start reception this year that got in on faith criteria. Everyone joins in assemblies, some of which are in church. Grace is said before they go for lunch.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Slightly frivolous reply here, but one of my first teaching jobs was in a school with a solid cohort of Jehovah's Witnesses. These children were not allowed to join in any act of worship and were given other things to do instead. It was actually quite funny because merely by being excluded, they developed an almost morbid fascination with what was going on, and ended up knowing all the words to the hymns etc better than the children who were made to sit yawning through endless hymn practices and assemblies. There was no evidence that they felt deprived in any way. I also did teaching practice in a CE school which was largely attended by Muslims- the parents chose it as they wanted some spiritual element even if it was slightly off-message. Mind you both these examples are from the 1980s.

Personally I think the child is unlikely to feel excluded by the religious fervour of lots of avid little Christians actively expressing their faith around her - the curriculum is too packed with worthy academic activities to allow too much time for spiritual contemplation and I am sure most children there will be similarly agnostic, even those whose parents have suddenly found The Lord to get a place. :wink: I imagine the idea of someone as honest as your sister about her religious beliefs is likely to be a breath of fresh air quite frankly. As long as she is comfortable with the broadly Christian tone of it all, I am sure it will be just fine.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:08 pm 
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The class sizes are small with only 15 in each year. The current reception class does not have children of any other religions. I have advised her to go in and discuss with the teachers to get an idea of how much Christian teaching is involved but reading the prospectus it seems to have a big focus on this.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:43 pm 
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However you do get the occasional odd comment!

I once said 'Nobody knows everything' to DD, to which she replied 'God does'.

Most of our local schools are CE so it is quite low key but comments like the above made me smile. They did say prayers 3 times a day - morning, grace and leaving though.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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PROBSNAIVE wrote:
Hi Everyone. Just needed some advice for my sister who has a child who will be in reception next year. Her nearest school is a C of E school and the school prospectus shows that they incorporate the Christian faith in the majority of their teaching as you would expect being a C of E school. They visit the local church on a weekly basis and collective worship daily. The school has excellent results and is rated outstanding by Ofsted. However my sister is concerned that by not being of the Christian faith, her daughter will not be able to participate in all school activities and that her daughter may feel left out. Does anyone have any experience of this? Is it better to choose an alternative which would be some distance away if she does not want her child to be taught in a religious setting? The other issue is all local schools are over subscribed so she may not even get an alternative.


Hi, as amber says, it should not be a problem. I am unclear though about your bit which says she would be unable to take part in some activities. Would your sister be withdrawing her from assembly and r e? If so, if she is the only child this could feel miserable.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:11 am 
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She might find this useful...

http://www.churchofengland.org/our-view ... -faqs.aspx


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:13 am 
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Not necessarily RE but the collective worship, attending church services


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:49 am 
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I went to a CoE primary that was heavily involved with the church - many parents of kids there didn't particularly have strng religious views but were happy for their kids to go along with what went on. It also happened to be probably the best primary in the area.

I think it is hard to send a child to a specifically religious school and then withdraw them from RE / church services / collective worship - maybe better to look at another school.
On the other hand if the child does go there, they may find that fully joining in has a positive side to it.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:29 am 
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I have to say I went to a catholic primary and senior school with nuns but I was brought up as CoE but not especially regular churchgoer. I have to say I actually enjoyed a lot of the collective worship, singing hymns etc I use to go to mass on the holy days - more because it got me out of a couple of lessons I did not enjoy :D. Am i religious? not at all-I regard myself as pretty agnostic. In some ways it makes me think it is not a good idea to have religious segregation in schools but

My children have gone to a very good state community primary which on paper would appear to be non christian but the head was clearly a commited Christian as was the head governorand we are living in a community with a lot of local churches who work together to do something called " Open the Book" where they go into all the local schools and tell the bible stories. Are my children religious? -not especially My DD caught on early about the creation story when there were no dinosaurs mentioned in the bible :lol: I think she was 4 at the time.
If that is the local school and it is good I would not worry and go with the flow about the religious aspects and use it to base discussions at home.


Last edited by DC17C on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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