I’m not Catholic but have always respected others’ religious beliefs. I am a former student of St Mary’s and we had ‘The Fertile Heart’ sessions during form-time and it never occurred to me, at that age, how heavily dated the content of the curriculum really is.


As a young woman in the 21st century, I feel as though there are many different reasons for teaching about using contraception, for example, but this was neglected.

Abortion is a sensitive topic but I feel as though it should be addressed in a respectful manner and that it was always looked at as a revolting thing at school.

In lessons, even situations such as if a woman is sexually assaulted and becomes pregnant were not considered – why shouldn’t she have a choice in what she does?

This teaching extended into RE lessons that were more memorable for me; what shocked me the most was when we had debates. I’ve always respected Catholic views but I did feel as though my own beliefs were pressed down quite heavily.

St Mary’s have moved with the times in admitting students from other religions but they also need to be more open-minded to other viewpoints in a learning environment.

I will be interested to see what the recent Ofsted outcome is, regarding this issue.

Milly Roper


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