A late night sewing session produced the first of (no doubt) many costumes destined for the school nativity. Milla is a cat. Specifically an orange cat. She is thrilled about this and I love her enthusiasm for taking part in school performances.
But. But, I do feel a little uneasy. We are an atheist family. Our local school is a Church of England primary school (for international readers: despite being state run a great many primary schools in the UK are C of E controlled meaning that Christianity is part of their way of life). Although on the surface I had the option to apply to a non-C of E primary in reality I had no choice but the village school. The positives far outweigh this one negative.
So we have to find ways to work around their religion. I do feel frustrated that the school’s solution to our beliefs versus their Christmas celebrations and plays is to ask us if we’d prefer Milla not to take part. Considering they started prep for Christmas back in September/October I don’t want my child to be excluded from such a big part of their work. What I want is for our beliefs to be included and respected.
The pre-school she attended were happy to talk about celebrating Solstice and to switch terminology for Milla. But it doesn’t feel like the school are prepared to include our beliefs in discussion about theirs. Both of us having been through C of E primary schools Mr Kat and I are of the opinion that religions should be taught in schools but should not be the foundation of a state-run school.
Where does it leave us? In the same place as the cat in the Nativity: we’re there but we don’t really belong.