Aims and objectives
At St. John’s CE Primary School, the daily act of collective worship is viewed as an integral and important part of school life. Our act of Collective Worship is central to the life and purposes of our school and concentrates largely on the affirmation and celebration of the Christian beliefs, traditions and our school’s values.
Through collective worship in our school we aim to:
As a school we recognise the need to ensure that there is a daily act of collective worship for all pupils (in line with the requirements of the Education Reform Act 1988) and a timetable for daily collective worship has been agreed. The daily act of collective worship takes into account the age aptitude and background of pupils.
Parents have the right to withdraw children from collective worship and arrangements will be made to accommodate these children. Withdrawal from collective worship will only be made following discussions with the Head teacher and a written request from parents.
John 13:34-35 “…love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples”.
St. John’s focuses on 6 core Christian values: faith, honesty, love, friendship, trust and forgiveness. These values are built into the ethos and teaching of the school and are modelled by everyone who works at St. John’s. We teach the children that there are ‘No Outsiders’ in God’s family, regardless of differences and this is rooted in the belief that every person is created in God’s image. Our ‘Values Wheel’ which displays our core Christian values alongside the British Values, is used, when appropriate during collective worship as a visual reminder of the beliefs and vision of our school.
Our collective worship planner incorporates each of the Christian values, ensuring that pupils have the opportunity to learn from Biblical teaching and reflect on how they can demonstrate these values across their lives.
Planning, Delivery and Evaluation
At St. John’s our collective worship planning reflects our values focus for that term, the Church calendar, our school development priorities and current events. Our worship reflects our Christian beliefs and values and we are also committed to respecting each other’s faith stance and culture, showing tolerance and understanding regardless of pupils’ beliefs. Shine Group contribute ideas to planning and identify ways that collective worship themes can be developed across school.
We also actively seek to encourage the attitudes of awe, wonder and reflection in worship. Philosophy for Children (P4C) questions are linked to the collective worship planning and developed using P4C techniques during worship as a means to develop thinking and enquiry skills and are linked to religious teachings to allow children to develop spirituality. Worship is also planned linked to our work on ‘No Outsiders’, which is rooted in our Christian values and teaches children about equality and promotes diversity. In addition to this, visiting groups and individuals are welcomed into the school regularly to lead worship.
Collective Worship usually takes place in the school hall and an appropriate atmosphere is created through the use of:
establishing a worship table using the liturgical colours of the season of the church and a worship box
Pupils play a key role in worship, through planned contributions, drama, prayers, lighting candles and spontaneous contributions during worship.
Shine group evaluate worship weekly by observing the worship and writing an appropriate prayer based on the themes, which is used at the end of the service.
Prayer and Reflection
Collective worship always includes a time of prayer and/or reflection, including hymn practice. A range of prayers is used including the Lord’s Prayer, the school prayer, prayers written by the children and others. They are introduced in an appropriate manner with a short time of quiet for personal reflection and prayer. Worship begins with a bidding prayer and simple liturgy is used when lighting the candle.
Our Bidding Prayer
We come together on this new day
To give God thanks and learn his ways
To pray for all who need God’s aid.
To say we’re sorry and sing his praise.
When the candle is lit:
We light this candle to show Jesus is the Light of the World and to remember God is here too.
Worship boxes are used to support with developing a focus for worship and include a cross.
Across school, children have opportunities to write/say prayers individually and as part of the school day with their peers.
Record Keeping, Evaluation and Monitoring
A file is kept, recording details of each act of worship. Pupil evaluations are also recorded here. SLT monitor collective worship regularly through observations and using pupil voice.
Staff CPD is provided for those that lead collective worship and the collective worship planner is shared with all staff.
Visits and Visitors
As part of the curriculum, St. John’s CE Primary School ensures that appropriate visits are made available for the children in order for them to have first-hand experiences and gain a greater understanding of various places of worship.
Visitors to the school are welcomed and enabled to share their experiences and knowledge. St. John’s Church is our most valuable resource, with the whole school attending at key times of the year including Harvest, Christmas and Easter in addition to visits linked to the RE curriculum. Members of the Church community attend and contribute to our whole school services each term.
The Collective Worship Coordinator (DHT) and foundation governor liaise to discuss various aspects of the spiritual life of the school and this ensures an effective line of communication between the school and the governing body regarding these matters.
All pupils, regardless of academic ability, age, gender and ethnic origin will have access to a wide range of appropriate activities to support their understanding of R.E. At each Key Stage, the teacher will draw from other religions as appropriate to acknowledge and celebrate the religious beliefs of the children within the class.