Faith And Worship Policy
The school is not a faith-based organisation, and there are no faith elements in its curriculum. However, it endeavours to assist students and staff in following their individual needs for worship and prayer, within the context of school life.
Discussions about faith, and expressions of faith, are permitted by staff and students provided negative comments are not made about other religious or philosophical viewpoints, and provided they do not cause conflict amongst members of the school. The school’s first rule, to show respect to other members of the school, over-rides the individual’s right to self-expression.
Staff and students may wear clothes and symbols of their faith, provided this is not done a way which disrespects other faiths or is judged by the school to be done with the intent of provoking division.
Students may, with the the permission of the teacher and other students in the group, discuss faith issues in class, although this is generally discouraged and needs to be handled with extreme care. With the same provisos, students may make presentations about their faith, provided the school’s rule on respect is followed.
The school does not permit students or staff to put up posters promoting their faith or add books to the library shelves promoting their faith or disrespecting others, but sacred texts such as the Bible, the Quran and the Sutras are permitted.
For timetabling purposes, the school follows the Gregorian calendar. The school is closed on Sundays and the main religious holidays: Good Friday to Easter Monday and Christmas Day.
Students and staff are permitted time off for essential prayer and festivals, but must return to lessons or work immediately afterwards. Muslim students will be excused when attending Mosque on Friday and their attendance will not be affected. Staff are not paid when taking time off for worship, or for religious festivals, unless these are public holidays when the school is closed. Staff may choose to use their paid holiday allocation for such unpaid absences.
During Ramadan, apart from Friday, Muslim students will not be released as a result of their need to fast unless they are unable to participate in class activities. Staff are expected to work, subject to their ability to carry out their duties. Any time off due to fasting will not be paid or must be taken as holiday.
Reviewed Feb 2018 ML