Collective Worship

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Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of collective worship are:

  • to provide an opportunity for children to worship God;
  • to experience silence, stillness, meditation, contemplation and prayer;
  • to enable children to consider spiritual and moral issues;
  • to develop in children a sense of community spirit;
  • to promote a common ethos, with shared values, and to reinforce positive attitudes;

Collective worship

We understand worship to be a special act or occasion whose purpose is to show reverence to God. Collective worship involves all members of the school coming together and participating in an assembly. We expect everyone to take an active part in the assembly.

In line with the 1988 Education Reform Act, which states that collective worship should be 'wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character', we normally base our assemblies on the teachings of Christ and the traditions of the Christian Church. However, we conduct our assemblies in a manner that is sensitive to the faiths and beliefs of all members of the school.

While most acts of worship in our school are Christian, we also hold assemblies that reflect the traditions of other religions that are represented in the school and the wider community.

Organisation of collective worship

We hold a daily act of collective worship. This forms part of each morning assembly, which can be either a whole-school assembly (although sometimes we also hold separate infant and junior assemblies), or a class assembly.

We conduct assemblies in a dignified and respectful way. We tell children that assembly time is a period of calm reflection. We regard it as a special time, and expect children to behave in an appropriate way. We ask them to be quiet and thoughtful, to listen carefully to the teachings, and to participate fully in prayer and hymns. We create an appropriate atmosphere by using music, and sometimes candles or other objects, to focus the attention of the children.

The assemblies are conducted by the headteacher or other members of staff or led by local clergy from St Peter’s church

We take the themes of our assemblies from the traditions of the Christian faith, and we observe the festivals and mark the events of the Christian calendar. Sometimes the themes of our assemblies are related to topics that we teach as part of the school curriculum. We plan our assemblies well in advance of the day they take place.

Our assemblies also reflect the achievements and learning of the children. We encourage the children to participate in the assemblies by showing their work to the other children, and by raising issues that they have discussed in their classes. Assemblies provide an opportunity to reward children for their achievements both in and out of school. They also play an important part in promoting the ethos of the school, which is that all children are valued, and all achievements are recognised. Our school is a successful school, and we shall continue to celebrate the successes of all our children at our assemblies.

The weekly Collective Worship timetable is usually organised as follows:

Main feature of worship

Assembly usually led by:

Monday

Overview of week and introduction of theme

Headteacher

Tuesday

Worship on the weekly theme

Headteacher or Deputy.

Hymn Practise may follow

Wednesday

Worship on a theme selected by the Church team – KS1

Worship on the weekly theme – KS2

Father Brian, Father Ian or Margaret

A member of the teaching staff

Thursday

Worship on a theme selected by the Church team – KS2

Worship on the weekly theme – KS1

Father Brian, Father Ian or Margaret

A member of the teaching staff

Friday

Worship varies:

At the end of each half term there is an achievement assembly.

Each class leads in rotation or led by individual members of teaching staff.

Head teacher and deputy

Head teacher and deputy

Themes for each week, apart from those planned by the Church team, are planned for the coming term by the Collective Worship Coordinator, Mrs Ellis. She provides suggestions for possible resources for teachers to use if necessary. A record of assemblies taken is kept to be made by all staff leading worship and these placed in the assembly file in the staffroom.

Attendance by others to our assemblies

Lack of space in our hall means that parents and carers are not usually invited to attend unless there is a special occasion such as the Leavers service. However at harvest time, Christmas and Easter all the children in KS1 and KS2 participate in a special service at St Peter’s Church where many parents and friends join us. All the children are involved collectively, but also through year group presentations, as members of the choir or orchestra, or as readers. Wherever we can we encourage parents’ attendance, as this promotes community spirit, and shows the school and the homes working together in support of the children's achievements.

Governors' attendance at our assemblies is always welcome.

Right of withdrawal

We expect all children to attend assembly. However, any parent can request permission for their child to be excused from religious worship, and the school will make alternative arrangements for the supervision of the child during that part of the assembly. Parents and carers do not have to explain or give reasons for their request. This right of withdrawal complies with the 1944 Education Act, and was restated in the 1988 Education Reform Act.

The headteacher keeps a record of all children who have been withdrawn from collective worship.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • observation of children’s reaction and participation during worship;
  • feedback from children in class;
  • observation of children’s behaviour
  • reference to children’s views including through the school council
  • discussion with nominated Governors – at the present time Mr B Falconer, Chair of Governors and Father Brian Bell have taken on this role

This policy will be reviewed at least every two years.

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