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26-06-2019, 15:04   #1
maxsmum
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Content of religion in primary school

Hi there, we are trying to decide on primary school for our son and really the local RC school which he has been accepted to is ideal in terms of proximity and class size.
I don't mind leaving him opted into religion if we can sell it to him as 'nice stories to teach you how to be good' etc. I would prefer he is included in all classes with his classmates if possible but don't want him actually taking part in Communion or Confession when the time comes.
However if the content includes things like Hell, sinning, etc I will have him opted out which I know might set him apart from the class - I don't know if many parents will be doing the same yet.
Does anyone know what they cover in primary school religion? I really don't want him being actively taught gay people go to Hell etc, even if I am around to set him straight.
Is there a book name for example I can have a look at in the bookshop?
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26-06-2019, 15:08   #2
LouD2016
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Im not sure what way the curriculum is nowadays but I highly doubt anywhere teaches "gay people go to hell".

Prob best to maybe have a chat with the school principal and see what's what
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26-06-2019, 15:19   #3
maxsmum
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Im not sure what way the curriculum is nowadays but I highly doubt anywhere teaches "gay people go to hell".

Prob best to maybe have a chat with the school principal and see what's what
I suppose i'm hoping other parents or a primary school teacher can tell me what their kids learn before I go charging into principal as I really don't want to cause a fuss.
My understanding is that Catholicism teaches being gay is wrong, that sinners go to hell, they need to confess their sins etc etc.
Is that taught to primary school kids or is it just a bunch of Bible stories - I can handle the latter.
We have gay family members and I teach my son that some people have two mammies, etc, I don't really want him going to school and being taught that they've done something wrong.
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26-06-2019, 15:22   #4
honeybear
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I teach infants in a RC school. We follow the Grow in Love Programme for teaching religion. Think asking about the schools SPHE (Social, Personal & Health Education Programme) would also be very relevant
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26-06-2019, 15:29   #5
maxsmum
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I teach infants in a RC school. We follow the Grow in Love Programme for teaching religion. Think asking about the schools SPHE (Social, Personal & Health Education Programme) would also be very relevant
Thanks for that honeybear. I looked at the Grow in Love sample and it seems tame enough. I will check out the SPHE policy!
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26-06-2019, 15:49   #6
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Originally Posted by maxsmum View Post
I suppose i'm hoping other parents or a primary school teacher can tell me what their kids learn before I go charging into principal as I really don't want to cause a fuss.
My understanding is that Catholicism teaches being gay is wrong, that sinners go to hell, they need to confess their sins etc etc.
Is that taught to primary school kids or is it just a bunch of Bible stories - I can handle the latter.
We have gay family members and I teach my son that some people have two mammies, etc, I don't really want him going to school and being taught that they've done something wrong.

I doubt theyll be teaching fire and brimstone to primary kids
and they definitely wont be teaching homosexuality is a sin
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26-06-2019, 15:51   #7
pooch90
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They will be taught about sinning and repentance but def wont be told they will go to hell! No direct mention of homosexuality as far as I'm aware of (6th class programme hasn't been rolled out yet) . I have taught the SI and 1st programme. My only issue with it (being a non believer)is the Creation story as it contradicts what you teach in science. Ita generally very inclusive and there is a portion in 1st class about different faiths and their customs.
It very much depends on the teacher how much they will take as fact. When asked if it's true, I say that it's what RC believe.
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26-06-2019, 16:09   #8
maxsmum
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They will be taught about sinning and repentance but def wont be told they will go to hell! No direct mention of homosexuality as far as I'm aware of (6th class programme hasn't been rolled out yet) . I have taught the SI and 1st programme. My only issue with it (being a non believer)is the Creation story as it contradicts what you teach in science. Ita generally very inclusive and there is a portion in 1st class about different faiths and their customs.
It very much depends on the teacher how much they will take as fact. When asked if it's true, I say that it's what RC believe.
Thanks for that. I'm a scientist so I think I can get around the creationism with some books hopefully! His grandparents are religious so I might say that's what they believe but me and Dad don't and it's ok to believe different things etc. Hoping he doesn't get too wrapped up in all the praying though!
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26-06-2019, 23:42   #9
wirelessdude01
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Juat for information, most primary school teachers that I know including myself do little or no religious instruction or education except if they have a sacrament class(2nd and 6th).
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26-06-2019, 23:48   #10
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I wouldn't say so, they didn't even mention stuff like that when I was there in the 90s.

It will just nice stories from the New Testament.
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26-06-2019, 23:54   #11
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My kids are in a RC school and don't participate in the religious parts. It's no big deal for them. Don't be afraid of opting out. It shouldn't harm them at all and they'll get the confidence of saying they aren't religious rather than being indoctrinated in the stories from a young age and then not being "allowed" to do their sacraments
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26-06-2019, 23:58   #12
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Primary school religion probably pushed me away from faith, if anything.

I'm thankful for it but I was also pushed away from the likes of Irish and Maths, which I regret.
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27-06-2019, 15:41   #13
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I'm thankful for it but I was also pushed away from the likes of Irish and Maths, which I regret.

Jesus, religion had a lot to answer for 😂
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27-06-2019, 16:10   #14
barneyrub
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My kids are in a RC school and don't participate in the religious parts. It's no big deal for them. Don't be afraid of opting out. It shouldn't harm them at all and they'll get the confidence of saying they aren't religious rather than being indoctrinated in the stories from a young age and then not being "allowed" to do their sacraments
I agree with the above. Mine are opted out and are only delighted that they don't have to do religion homework. I send in activity books or other things for them to do during religion time.


But tbh it's not the religion class part that is the main problem. It's the prayers, religious art, masses, priest visits etc that take over.

Also be prepared that teacher can do no wrong in the eyes of their students at infant ages so if teacher says god created earth it might be a losing battle against that for a while.


I've thought my kids to say with confidence that we don't are not religious and don't partake rather than waste their time on it in school
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27-06-2019, 16:20   #15
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OP, many parents are in exactly the same boat as you. The stories are primarily moral stories, stories about creation etc. Most of it would be things you would teach your child yourself. Unless your child has a very religious teacher or it’s greatly pushed in the school, it’s unlikely to go against your beliefs in any major way. There will be talk of sins, repentance and confession. But also stories of forgiveness and new beginnings and lots of other positives too.

My advice would be to speak to the child’s teacher rather than the principal. Wait until they’re settled in, late September ish as the first few weeks are crazy and things get forgotten. Tell the teacher you’re quite happy for your child to part take in the stories, worksheets and conversations etc (which is the majority) but you would ask they don’t pressure them into the prayers etc and that your child won’t be making sacraments. Explain it exactly as you’ve laid it out here. I will be hugely surprised if you have any issue!! I’ve had many parents/students in the same position as yourself and it honestly isn’t an issue. You may need a different approach in sacrament classes but you’re a long way off yet.
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