The Student Room Group

Does anyone here have any experience of faith schools in the UK?

As somebody who want to a secular state school, I'm curious how my experience there compared to those who have been to (or currently attend) faith schools in the UK. By this I am including mainstream state funded Catholic or CoE schools which I doubt are significantly different from where I went aside from maybe a morning prayer and slightly more focus on their own religion when teaching about religion. I am also including your more fundamentalist independent schools, some of which teach the A.C.E. curriculum which I have read is (from my perspective) rather weird in many areas.

It would be good to hear about how your experience at religiously affiliated schools (if you went to one) compares to my experience at a secular secondary school, which I was at between 2011 and 2016.
Do your research.
Do you have particular questions you'd like to ask? As that is easier for me than trying to think of things to say off the top of my head :colondollar: (I went to a Roman Catholic convent school from 2000-2007) :jebus:
Didn't like the fact that they assumed that everyone believed in God and Jesus even if it's a fair assumption to make (talking about your average Christian comprehensive school).
Also didn't like the fact that I was forced to do GCSE RS as a result.
Reply 5
I didn’t mind, it was nice but I think re should be taught till like year 9 as afterwards it just becomes dull and makes you just question everything in life. And I despised the re gcse.
I liked re in primary though, it was quite fun and answered lots of life questions.
So overall re should be taught till year 8/9
I could’ve done an extra gcse in history for example instead of re.
Original post by Honey57
I didn’t mind, it was nice but I think re should be taught till like year 9 as afterwards it just becomes dull and makes you just question everything in life. And I despised the re gcse.
I liked re in primary though, it was quite fun and answered lots of life questions.
So overall re should be taught till year 8/9
I could’ve done an extra gcse in history for example instead of re.

I agree, I wouldn't make RS mandatory at GCSE level under any circumstances. If it's mandatory then we should learn about more religions or do 1 religion per year (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Jewism and Islam) so I would do the 3 religions that aren't being done at GCSE in Y7-Y8/9 (can't word this properly 😅). E.g if at GCSE level the 2 religious options are Islam and Christianity, then focus on doing Buddhism, Jewism and Hinduism in Y7-Y8/9 don't teach Islam or Christianity to those year groups. So it could be ok in Y7 let's learn about Buddhism, in Y8 Jewism, in Y9 Hinduism then in Y10&Y11 Islam and Christianity.
Reply 7
Original post by Talkative Toad
I agree, I wouldn't make RS mandatory at GCSE level under any circumstances. If it's mandatory then we should learn about more religions or do 1 religion per year (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Jewism and Islam) so I would do the 3 religions that aren't being done at GCSE in Y7-Y8/9 (can't word this properly 😅). E.g if at GCSE level the 2 religious options are Islam and Christianity, then focus on doing Buddhism, Jewism and Hinduism in Y7-Y8/9 don't teach Islam or Christianity to those year groups. So it could be ok in Y7 let's learn about Buddhism, in Y8 Jewism, in Y9 Hinduism then in Y10&Y11 Islam and Christianity.

My school didn't teach it as religious studies but as philosophy and ethics, from a secular/agnostic perspective.
Original post by RJDG14
My school didn't teach it as religious studies but as philosophy and ethics, from a secular/agnostic perspective.

My school called it ethics and philosophy too but still made RS mandatory 💩.
Reply 9
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
Do you have particular questions you'd like to ask? As that is easier for me than trying to think of things to say off the top of my head :colondollar: (I went to a Roman Catholic convent school from 2000-2007) :jebus:

My main questions for life at a Catholic school would be:
*How many collective prayers did you typically do in a typical day (my guess would be one or two)?
*Was Catholicism or Catholic values stressed in every aspect of the curriculum or not, or were most lessons aside from religious studies taught from a standard way like at any secular school?
*Did you learn about evolution in science lessons (I believe the Catholic church has generally accepted evolution for about 70 years)?
*Was your school run primarily by priests/nuns/monks or by ordinary staff members (who were most likely Catholics)? I think that historically a lot of Catholic schools were run by the former but these days nearly all are run by the latter.

I've known people who attended my town's Catholic secondary school and get the impression that their experience at school was largely the same as mine besides differences with religious studies lessons and assemblies.
Reply 10
Original post by Talkative Toad
My school called it ethics and philosophy too but still made RS mandatory 💩.

I can at least say that at my school (a secular one), it wasn't taught from a particularly religious or one-sided perspective - we learnt about different religions (and secular beliefs such as atheism) and compared and contrasted their viewpoints from a neutral perspective.
Original post by RJDG14
I can at least say that at my school (a secular one), it wasn't taught from a particularly religious or one-sided perspective - we learnt about different religions (and secular beliefs such as atheism) and compared and contrasted their viewpoints from a neutral perspective.

Lucky you then.
Original post by RJDG14
My main questions for life at a Catholic school would be:
*How many collective prayers did you typically do in a typical day (my guess would be one or two)?
*Was Catholicism or Catholic values stressed in every aspect of the curriculum or not, or were most lessons aside from religious studies taught from a standard way like at any secular school?
*Did you learn about evolution in science lessons (I believe the Catholic church has generally accepted evolution for about 70 years)?
*Was your school run primarily by priests/nuns/monks or by ordinary staff members (who were most likely Catholics)? I think that historically a lot of Catholic schools were run by the former but these days nearly all are run by the latter.

I've known people who attended my town's Catholic secondary school and get the impression that their experience at school was largely the same as mine besides differences with religious studies lessons and assemblies.


We didn't do daily collective prayers in my secondary school :nah: We'd have Mass as a year group (either within the school, or at the church across the road) once every 6 weeks, and then at the end of term there'd usually be a Mass too (at least for Dec and March/April). Our 'school house groups' were named after saints, and on your saint's feast day, you'd get a doughnut :biggrin: There'd be an in-house 'retreat' day with the RE teachers once a year for those in Years 7-9.

Catholic values underpinned the whole school ethos but didn't really affect the curriculum, with the exceptions of RE and PSHE lessons. We did learn about evolution in Year 7, and our science lessons were pretty normal afaik.

It being a convent school (and having a convent + nun's graveyard within the school grounds!), my school headmistress was a nun. She was super-cool and kick-ass though :yep: She knew that 95% of school students were atheists and that didn't bother her at all. She was steadfast in showing her own faith without being hugely 'in-your-face' about it. Our convent school was pretty chill in that respect - it was actually some of the RE teachers (who were ex-nuns) who were problematic, rather than the headteacher :s-smilie:

Most of the teachers in my school were Catholic. If they weren't Catholic, the only difference was they couldn't receive the bread and wine when we went for Mass, and they were not allowed to act as cover teacher for RE lessons :nah:
I went to a CofE secondary school, it was pretty much the same as i'd imagine a secular school would be apart from GCSE R.E being compulsory and the occasional faith related assemblies + church services (Christmas, Easter etc.)
Original post by RJDG14
I doubt are significantly different from where I went aside from maybe a morning prayer and slightly more focus on their own religion when teaching about religion.

pretty much this.
I went to a CofE secondary school
we had religious assemblies(incl prayer and Christian songs and the bread&wine thing) but our RS curriculum was pretty diverse and not all of my RS teachers were even Christian.
crosses dotted around the place.
pretty bog standard experience

I know some people have a much more different experience to me tho...

happy to answer qs :yy:
I was taught by some priests and nuns, majority 'normal' teachers. I was taught for a year by a nuns that had 30 years earlier taught my Mum in a Convent school in Liverpool.

We learnt about zero other religions (big disappointment), our GSCE was on Catholic sacraments and the design and layout of a Catholic Church.

The Catholic ethos permeated everything, we had a prayer every morning which was later rebranded as 'daily reflection'.

Evolution was taught just fine, as was sex ed and contraception.

I never really bought into it, but it tends to stick with you.
Reply 16
My school in HK is a Christian school and the atmosphere of faith is very strong. Even some notices have bible verses in them.

We even continued that after graduation, as around 15% of the graduating class of 2021 are serving God in university, through hkccc.
(edited 1 year ago)

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