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  1. #1
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    Default Catholic school for non catholic family?

    Sorry if this question has been asked before, I'm new here and seeking new opinions.

    My daughter is starting primary school next year so I need to decide which school to send her to very soon. Unfortunately I'm less than impressed with the local government schools. They both have bad reputations and achieve very poor results. I have looked into a couple of public schools outside of our town, and these do not suit either, a couple that I was interested in are now zoned and we are outside the zone and have been told we would be lucky to get in.
    This leaves the local catholic school. This school is perfect for us in almost every way, it is the perfect location (same street as my work), perfect size school (I prefer small schools), excellent curriculum and achieve excellent results. If she went to this school, it would mean she would pretty much be guaranteed a place in the local catholic secondary school as they take all children who attend the catholic primary regardless of religion. The catholic secondary school is far better than the local government schools, they do not even compare.
    My only problem is we are not catholic! Although we have been told we would still be able to enroll her in this school. I can't help but feel a little bit unsettled about this. I have no problem with my daughter learning about religion, but is she going to feel like an outsider? Are we, as a family, going to be looked at as hypocrites? How many non catholics attend catholic schools? How full on is the religion side of things? Do they pressure you to convert and join the church?
    I've been told by a couple of people that I should just do what is needed for my daughter have the best possible education and not worry about the religion side of things. I know a few people who have done this, so maybe it is not that unusual?
    I'd love to hear from anyone who has done this, or opinions about my daughter going to this school. Thanks.
    PS. Sorry for the ramble lol!

  2. #2
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    Hi, I personally went to a public primary school and then a catholic high school, if u plan to send her to a catholic secondary school highly recommend sending her to catholic primary it was really really hard for my parents to get me into the secondary school!! I am not religious what so ever and there are ALOT of families who aren't that attend in my experience I had friends that were catholic and some who where not and did not make a difference what so ever

    Also we had 3 levels of religious classes, I was in the 3 and it was for the non religious where they taught us values rather than religious script and also taught us lifestyle things like cooking and to change a tyre :-)

    Sorry for the long post but I have been to both public n private and in my experience nothing compares to private!

  3. #3
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    Hi Jen:

    Great question! I have been wondering this too but for a little bit of a different reason - we are semi-practicing Lutheran's and we are moving towards the end of the year and there is a Catholic School that is much closer than the Lutheran school but I am not sure if it is the 'right' thing to do to send my children to a Catholic school? It's a hard one isn't it?
    I think in your situation it sounds like the Catholic school is a good option for you and for your little one's education. Perhaps you can ask about the levels of Religious instruction as the previous poster mentioned. I can't help you there as currently my children go to our local public school as we live in a country town and have no other option.
    Good Luck with your decision!

  4. #4
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    Last edited by tea&toast; 06-03-2014 at 15:22.

  5. #5
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    We're in a similar position, and for me it doesn't matter that we're Catholic or not. I had a strongly religious childhood (Anglican) and still went to a Catholic school (the same DD will be going to!). I never felt too left out, except when I was hungry once and wanted to munch on the sacraments during mass, but couldn't.

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    We only have a few non- Catholic families at school.. the only time they seem to be left out is when the sacraments happen, and thats only 3 times in their school life anyway. Reconciliation, Communion and Confirmation. They do study for it (our school calls it Pathways) but its done in class and the events are on weekends so its really not a big deal Go for it if you love the school!


    Just a note on the high school thing, if its a very popular HS they will choose practicing Catholics before non-Catholics. It happened with DSs school, he was lucky because he had all his sacraments, but there were a few kids who missed out because they didn't. The HS has 6 "feeder" primary schools though so they always get huge numbers of applications!

  7. #7
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    I'm on the school board for our local Catholic school and half the Board members aren't Catholic either.

    If the school is small, there won't be alternate religion classes (there aren't in Primary usually anyway). They won't expect you to convert but on the enrolment form they do ask that you will support the Catholic ethos.

    And its a personal gripe of mine that about half the teachers usually aren't Catholic (not cos I have any objections to non-Catholics, but because its a bit tricky teaching Catholicism if you're not - I have the same whinge about non-trained Maths teachers, but I digress) so non-Catholic students are not going to feel left out.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.

  8. #8
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    Thanks so much everyone . We had a tour of the catholic school and we loved it!! The principal made it clear they accept all children, regardless of religion. They advised at least half of the students are non-catholics, so no chance of DD feeling the odd one out! The school itself was wonderful and the children were so well behaved. My mind is now at ease with this decision, and I'm so relieved, and happy my DD will be going to such a lovely school.


 

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