My wife and I are going into school tomorrow to talk to our son's head teacher.
When he came out of school today he told us that he had been told off for not singing hymns in assembly.
I asked him if he had been messing about and causing a disturbance, he said that he had just been sitting in silence.
During long conversations we have had with him about his ideas on religion we've told him that he is under no obligation to sing hymns or join in prayers at school if he doesn't want to. I know schools have, by law; got to have collective worship in the UK but parents have the right to remove their children from them and any religious education.
So, we are going to school tomorrow morning and we are going to fight his corner. I would rather not remove him from RE and Assemblies and I hope the head teacher will be understanding about our objections to forcing our son to praise a god he says "I think he doesn't exist."
There is no pressure at home to not believe and he is completely free to pick any faith or non at all. So far he has said he feels Agnostic.
This is not the first time we've had to think about what we want him to be presented with by people in authority. He used to go to boys brigade at the local baptist church, which he really enjoyed. I attended church parade services with him but found the services grated against my own ideas of god while I still believed. This went further when he brought home Young Earth Creationist literature one evening with a time line stating the world was only 6,000 years old. We took the opportunity to ask him whether he thought this was accurate. He said no and when asked for a reason he said that he knew dinosaurs were on earth over 65 million years ago because of the fossils so it couldn't be only 6,000. He kept going there for a while but changed to going to the Woodcraft Folk after we found a local group.