can anyone clarify for me in the church of ireland national schools do the students prepare in class for communnion and confirmation. or is this preparation undertaken by the families outside of school hours. Also does anyone know of plans to open an Educate Together school in Athlone Westmeath.
CofI don't do communion, its a Catholic sacrament. Anyone I know who was confirmed did so at 13/14 or later. All schools operate independently though, so the religious elements are down to the patron.
CoI schools don't prepare catholic children for the sacraments. The parents do so outside of school hours and most parishes can offer assistance with this, e.g in our parish the legion of Mary group would help and guide the parents so you aren't alone. Some of the preparation may take place during school hours, say a visit to the church, and you can take your child out of school for this or for some joint activities with the children in the catholic school in the same way you might take them out for a dentist's appointment.
Attitudes in parishes and schools can vary but a bit of common sense and mutual respect goes a long way.
CoI children also make confirmation, but as lazygal says it is usually later when they are at secondary school and I assume they have a different preparation.
thanks for the replies that has clarified the matter for me.