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Feeling very relieved - school choice


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#1 gracie1978

Posted 01 November 2019 - 06:37 AM

We were trying to decide between a small public infants school or a Catholic primary school.  

The Catholic school were desperate to up enrolments this year so were being VERY welcoming to families who weren't even religious, nevermind Catholic.

Our orientation days at the small public school we chose have gone brilliantly.  The school is diverse and friendly and  DS loves it, the only trouble I'm having is getting him to leave, he wants to stay for the full day.

Have heard that even during the orientation that the Catholic school is far more religious then was insinuated at the open days.
Feeling like we have had a lucky escape!  I'm a staunch little atheist :)

#2 Burro

Posted 01 November 2019 - 06:58 AM

And yet you would have opted for the catholic school if there was something in it for you.

#3 José

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:05 AM

Yes, I have heard schools desperate for enrollment will say and do what it takes to get people to sign up. Then the reality of the school experience is not what was promised or implied.

I'm glad you're feeling comfortable with your choice

#4 Anonforthistime

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:07 AM

View PostBurro, on 01 November 2019 - 06:58 AM, said:

And yet you would have opted for the catholic school if there was something in it for you.
Agree! I’m not sure why a “staunch little atheist” would even consider sending their child to a Catholic school.

#5 Mrs Claus

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:22 AM

View PostAnonforthistime, on 01 November 2019 - 07:07 AM, said:


Agree! I’m not sure why a “staunch little atheist” would even consider sending their child to a Catholic school.

This is me and I’ll admit my hypocrisy. DS was having a horrible time at school and the only other alternative was the new catholic school. We went and had a look and were presently surprised and DS loved it. Moved him over and he’s never been happier. Seriously considering it for youngest DS too in a few years. (But then we’ve attended playgroup at church and youth group for year so I’m/they are used to my hypocrisy)

#6 Hands Up

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:27 AM

View PostMrs Claus, on 01 November 2019 - 07:22 AM, said:



This is me and I’ll admit my hypocrisy. DS was having a horrible time at school and the only other alternative was the new catholic school. We went and had a look and were presently surprised and DS loved it. Moved him over and he’s never been happier. Seriously considering it for youngest DS too in a few years. (But then we’ve attended playgroup at church and youth group for year so I’m/they are used to my hypocrisy)

That’s a little different though isn’t it? The public system wasn’t working so you were forced to look at other options. God knows (ha) why the OP ever considered it.

#7 No Drama Please

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:43 AM

If you are hardcore atheist why would you look at the catholic school in the first place though? I’m agnostic rather than atheist and looked at the local catholic and an out of zone primary school.

They both looked really good but I had to be really honest with myself that if they went to catholic school they obviously would be heavily focused on that. As I haven’t got strong opinions one way or another I decided it wouldn’t really matter (to us), but if you are staunchly anti religion wouldn’t that be too hard to come to terms with? Like completely opposed to your core values.

I can see how if the local public didn’t work out you could go catholic after, as you’d think well I’m desperate so my child’s needs take precedent over mine but why take it as an equal first option?Hope that’s not offensive sorry, I’m genuinely interested, not stirring!

#8 gracie1978

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:47 AM

Most of his friends are going there and it's a five minute walk from our house as opposed to a five minute drive (and a big hill) to the public school.  The other public school in walking distance doesn't have OOSHC.  It just seemed practical to consider a school that close when I'm having twins in January.

I tried so hard, I went to visit twice, but I just couldn't get over my aversion to organised religion.  There was an incident between me and a very religious family member when I was ten and it took a long time to get over (clearly I'm probably not still over it).  I don't for a minute think DS will suffer abuse in a Catholic school, I'm just very triggered by the godliness of it all.  I also don't want him to get conflicting information at home and school from such a young age.

So it was such a relief to see how much he enjoyed the school we did pick.  I had been feeling terribly guilty about it.

#9 Bam1

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:47 AM

It seems the staunch catholic school can bend as much as the staunch atheist when they want something (enrolments) as well.

#10 *Ker*

Posted 01 November 2019 - 07:55 AM

I'm an atheist. DS is at a catholic high school. When I looked at the public school we were zoned for, I said "no way". It's old, the subject choices are minimal and the students and teachers are apathetic. And the other one I could have got him into, just around the corner, has cops and ambulances there every couple of days, plus students have set fires at the school, twice I know of, in the last year.

I'm in the P & F and the school only has 35% of catholic students. The other 65% are other religions and non-religious.

#11 Caribou

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:01 AM

Agnostic here, and DD is in a Anglican school. I’m not really concerned about the religion part. Just that she enjoys school.

I grew up in the 90s where we HAD to do scripture once a week from kinder to high school. I’m not worse off for it.

I don’t get the angst around the private/public thing. Just send your kid to the school best suited to them if you can.

#12 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:05 AM

View PostCaribou, on 01 November 2019 - 08:01 AM, said:

Agnostic here, and DD is in a Anglican school. I’m not really concerned about the religion part. Just that she enjoys school.

I grew up in the 90s where we HAD to do scripture once a week from kinder to high school. I’m not worse off for it.

I don’t get the angst around the private/public thing. Just send your kid to the school best suited to them if you can.

the “if you can” is the reason for the angst....what if you can’t, because catholic schools are operating an inefficient parallel quasi-public system - that you still have to pay for, and may not get into as they CAN and do give preferential treatment to catholic families...and that bleeds resources from the public system leaving them bereft of funding, middle class buy in and teaching staff.


#13 No Drama Please

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:06 AM

View Postgracie1978, on 01 November 2019 - 07:47 AM, said:

Most of his friends are going there and it's a five minute walk from our house as opposed to a five minute drive (and a big hill) to the public school.  The other public school in walking distance doesn't have OOSHC.  It just seemed practical to consider a school that close when I'm having twins in January.

I tried so hard, I went to visit twice, but I just couldn't get over my aversion to organised religion.  There was an incident between me and a very religious family member when I was ten and it took a long time to get over (clearly I'm probably not still over it).  I don't for a minute think DS will suffer abuse in a Catholic school, I'm just very triggered by the godliness of it all.  I also don't want him to get conflicting information at home and school from such a young age.

So it was such a relief to see how much he enjoyed the school we did pick.  I had been feeling terribly guilty about it.
Thanks for replying, I can understand how having such a confrontational experience at a young age would put you off. I’m really glad it worked out, it’s such a relief when you get school sorted. Plus when your twins are older they’ll be used to going up to the school and that makes it way easier as well.

#14 SeaPrincess

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:11 AM

View PostBam1, on 01 November 2019 - 07:47 AM, said:

It seems the staunch catholic school can bend as much as the staunch atheist when they want something (enrolments) as well.
Except the schools don’t actually follow through, do they. In WA, the amount of explicit religious instruction isn’t even set at a school level, it’s written in the Catholic Education Office’s policies, so you can read it on their website before you even set foot in a catholic school.

#15 seayork2002

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:14 AM

Why are people surprised religious school is religious? is it like being able to be a little bit pregnant?

#16 Bam1

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:15 AM

Well that would depend on the school and how they interpret the rules but its a given that a religious school will always be religious.

#17 CallMeFeral

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:26 AM

View PostBurro, on 01 November 2019 - 06:58 AM, said:

And yet you would have opted for the catholic school if there was something in it for you.

Um, I don't see anything wrong with that. Why wouldn't someone do something (short of it being immoral) if there was something in it for them? Isn't that why we all do things?

#18 Ivy Ivy

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:47 AM

I've been atheist since I was in year 1, 6 years old, attending a strict Catholic school.

I went to Christian church-based playgroups with my kids when they were infants; there weren't secular playgroups on offer, and I like playgroups, they helped me get through difficult mothering years.

My children attend private (hence religious, there aren't many other types in private) Christian schools, because I wanted private not public schooling for them.

I don't see a huge problem with all that, primarily because most of the values of Christianity (treat others as you'd like to be treated, help the sick and less fortunate, be kind, do good) are values I agree with.  I just don't believe in the existence of God.  God doesn't equla morals or ethics or values, for atheists.

#19 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:49 AM

but i don’t see the christian schools actually putting those so called christian values into practice? all i see are pedophiles and misogynistic chants ....


#20 Ivy Ivy

Posted 01 November 2019 - 08:56 AM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 01 November 2019 - 08:49 AM, said:

but i don’t see the christian schools actually putting those so called christian values into practice? all i see are pedophiles and misogynistic chants ....

People are flawed.

#21 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:16 AM

View PostIvy Ivy, on 01 November 2019 - 08:56 AM, said:



People are flawed.

indeed. but christianity tends to exacerbate and in fact encourage those flaws rather than ameliorate them.


#22 boatiebabe

Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:22 AM

View Post*Ker*, on 01 November 2019 - 07:55 AM, said:

I'm an atheist. DS is at a catholic high school. When I looked at the public school we were zoned for, I said "no way". It's old, the subject choices are minimal and the students and teachers are apathetic. And the other one I could have got him into, just around the corner, has cops and ambulances there every couple of days, plus students have set fires at the school, twice I know of, in the last year.

I'm in the P & F and the school only has 35% of catholic students. The other 65% are other religions and non-religious.

I don't get this ...

How is it okay to live in that community, yet somehow in the same community it's not okay to send your kid to the school there?

People make all kinds of assumptions about schools (mostly wrong), and then spew out all kinds of damaging crap about the schools to justify their decisions to send their children to a 'better' school.

Grinds my gears.

#23 Chelara

Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:45 AM

I haven’t given any serious thought to our closest religious schools as I’m not religious and would rather them not be in an environment that prioritises religion. But I feel I am doing a disservice to my children. Our local public isn’t good. We don’t have out of area possibilities. The public system here isn’t coping, there’s no room, no funds, no playgrounds everyone is suffering and my oldest child is wasting her time and ability. She just missed a place at OC school. I’m at a loss as I still can’t stomach the thought of putting her in a Christian school. :( it is actually really hard for a lot of people to come up with the best solution for their child. p

#24 Drat

Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:53 AM

I'm a staunch atheist and any sort of religious school would not be an option for me. I'd rather send my kids to "bad" public schools than any sort or religious schools (and we live in walking distance of two!). I also wouldn't teach in one.

This is one thing that I feel quite strongly about, but I know that others don't feel so strongly and are still atheists.

#25 Jenflea

Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:53 AM

I considered our local Catholic school when DD was little.
Purely because it's been drummed into my head by my parents and my inlaws that "private schools are better". Supposedly have better discipline and pastoral care.

Having been on EB since I was pregnant however I know that's not the case and she's happily enrolled and thriving at the local public primary school.




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