Organisation of Collective Worship.
Through our daily school life at Mary’s Church of England Primary School we encourage our children to build respectful friendships and demonstrate compassion towards others. Through this we build a strong community spirit, as together we are a family. Our teaching and learning provides the children with the wisdom and endurance they need to expand their minds socially, morally and academically so allowing them to achieve and flourish and fulfil the Church of England’s belief of living ‘Life in all its fullness (John 10:10). We encourage our children to demonstrate and develop a dignity in their work and themselves which enables them to hope to aspire to be the best they can possibly be.
At St Mary’s CE Primary School, Collective Worship is at the centre of the school’s daily life and is invitational and inclusive welcoming al children of different faiths and none. It is a time when we come together as a family to share Christian values and experiences of our everyday lives, to develop the spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding of our pupils and learn more about the stories in the Bible and our school vision.
Worship is led by different members of the teaching staff, a range of visiting church ministers, outside speakers and also the pupils in school. This enables us to provide an exciting and varied approach towards our collective worship and greatly enhances the schools Christian character.
The whole school attends Church or a Church Service at least once each term to worship and to reinforce our Church foundation.
The Head teacher and RE Co-ordinator in partnership with members of our clergy team produce a half term plan for collective worship, which include the themes to be developed, the visiting speakers, prayer themes, hymn themes for the half term as well as other practical elements such as the members of staff who will be involved.
The weekly Collective Worship timetable is usually organised as follows:
Different groups of Upper Phase children are responsible for preparing the hall for collective worship.
The Nature of Collective Worship at our School
Communal and Personal Reflection:
Collective Worship at our school is a time when staff and children meet together and have the opportunity to reflect on the nonmaterial dimensions of our lives together in the school community and as individuals. It is not regarded simply as a time to exchange information or deal with organisational issues. It is therefore important that wherever possible 1 member of staff per class attends Collective Worship. All Staff attend Clergy assemblies which places significant value on our special time together.
Praise and prayer:
We give children the opportunity to develop spiritually in the gathering together for Daily Worship to praise the awe and wonder of God and the beauty of the world God has created; to pray together, to learn about the teachings of both the old and New Testament with particular emphasis on the teachings of Jesus and to reflect on our School vision and Christian Values. We have Prayer trees for children’s own prayers which are used in our Collective worship as well as other pre-written prayers relating to the theme of the assembly. To ensure an inclusive participation we invite children and adults to ‘be still on the outside and to be still on the inside.’
Children are given opportunity to consider what is important in our lives, about beliefs and values, and application of their beliefs to practical situations in their lives and be able to live out the school vision. They are taught to understand and respect the beliefs of other cultures, religions and our School’s vision and Christian Values. Talk partners are used frequently to encourage discussion and debate.
Celebration & Achievement:
Worship takes place through a variety of media such as Bible teaching, stories, songs, poetry, drama etc. Class led worship is often used as an opportunity to share experiences and achievements with the whole-school community and with parents and friends.
Through our Daily Worship we aim to bring an awareness of what it means to be part of a community, which cares for each other, for God and for the environment. In so doing we hope that pupils will develop the ability to explore issues for themselves, be able to reflect upon and learn from experiences and develop a sense of awe and wonder about the wider world whilst understanding their role and responsibilities to their local community.
Staff and Governors are committed to ensuring that opportunities for worship are relevant to all pupils and pay due regard to their ages, abilities and interests. We aim to recognise the equality of each child in God’s sight, whatever the child’s gender, race, physical or mental ability. Pupils currently take part in collective worship and often lead worship however each parent has the right to withdraw their child for religious reasons.
Special Education Needs:
Staff and Governors attempt to ensure that materials and subject matter used in collective worship are appropriate for the range of abilities of all pupils in school.
Collective Worship planning is outlined on a Half Term Plan and includes several features:
- Anglican prayer
- Visitors from …. Church
- Visitors from other churches
- Charity for the half term
- School initiative eg Eco, Fair trade initiatives, RE weeks, RRS week
- Healthy Clubs promotion developing God given gifts and talents
- Club performances each week
- Class led worship where the parents are invited
- Friday award celebration and performances
- End of term visit to …. Church to celebrate main Christian Festivals
- Pupil led prayer for the half term ahead and interactive pupil prayer display
- Highlights of the half term and pupil led praise / thankfulness at the end of the half term.
- 1 – 3 main songs each week
Monitoring and Evaluation.
Strategies staff currently use for assessing the outcomes of collective worship include:
- observation of children’s reaction and participation during worship.
- feedback from children in class or during pupil interviews with the subject leader – written or verbal.
- parents’ comments.
- observations of the quality of worship by the Head teacher or Deputy Head teacher.
- Feedback from the Head teacher/Deputy/SLT member in relation to the Collective Worship plan.
Hornsey Parish Church and our Clergy team are actively supportive of the Worship in school and participate in whole school assemblies once a week and on other special occasions such as harvest. Additionally, our church hosts a service once a term, at Christmas, Easter and the end of the summer term for our children. Our children visit church termly to reflect on Bible stories and our Christian Values with our clergy team. They are an integral part of our school and provide support and guidance, termly, to the RE subject lead, head teacher and governors.