Collective Worship

We believe that collective worship should be inclusive and build understanding, respect, and empathy in young people. Pupils, staff, and parents of all faiths or those without a faith, are welcome. Our school celebrates religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity and encourages dialogue and understanding. We believe that we can all learn from each other, and that collective worship is an educational entitlement to all. In collective worship we create the opportunity to explore the place of faith in each of our lives, and in the communities in which we live.

What is Collective Worship?

Collective worship in schools should aim to provide the opportunity for pupils to worship God, to consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs; to encourage participation and response, whether through active involvement in the presentation of worship or through listening to and joining in the worship offered; and to develop community spirit, promote a common ethos and shared values and reinforce positive attitudes.    

     Religious Education and Collective Worship Circular 1/94 (para 50)

Collective Worship and the Law

Arrangements for collective worship in a church school are the responsibility of the governors in consultation with the head teacher. Foundation Governors have particular responsibility for seeing, so far as is practicable, that the ethos of the school is reflected in worship. The act of worship is not included in curriculum time and must be distinctive to meet legal requirements.

There are three main legal requirements for collective worship*

  • Collective worship in a Church of England School should be in accordance with the trust deed or Diocesan guidelines. These include the tenets and practices of the Church of England. In other words in a church school, it should be clearly
  • The school must provide an act of collective worship for all children every Daily collective worship must be provided for all registered school pupils on a daily basis, (unless they have been withdrawn by parental request).
  • The act of collective worship can take place at any time of the school day and in any regular school grouping g. whole school, key stage or class group.

Parents may withdraw their children from collective worship on religious grounds. (The ‘religious grounds’ do not have to be justified or explained by the parents). This does not mean that we can guarantee an exemption from the Christian ethos of the school. Should children be withdrawn, we will provide adequate supervision to ensure their safety.

Worship and the Church School

Collective worship in any school should be an affirmation and celebration of the Christian vision and ethos of the school. For a church school it will have a particular significance and God will be the focus of worship. There will be an explanation of the Christian understanding of God as Trinity. This will include the belief in God as Creator and belief in Jesus as the revelation of God’s love for humankind and the whole of Creation.

It will also include belief in the Holy Spirit, who works to show the possibility of renewal, reconciliation, trust and forgiveness.

We are a Church of England school and hold a strong commitment to teaching the principles of Christianity; we aim to enable children to understand the nature of religion, its beliefs and practices. Our collective worship should reflect some of the essential features within the rich traditions of Anglican prayer and worship. These include:

  • Using the Bible as a source book for inspiration and
  • Reflecting upon Christian symbols and their use in worship.
  • Observing the cycle of the Anglican year: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Pentecost and holy days to set the framework for a changing pattern of school worship.
  • Identifying a collection of prayers and hymns which might create a framework for worship within the
  • Providing opportunities to discover the value of silence within the context of Christian
  • Experiencing the bond of community which encompasses gender, age, race and religious This could be expressed through the range of visitors who are invited to lead or attend school worship
  • Sharing in a commitment to dialogue with other faiths, shown in the welcome we offer to all pupils and the celebration of shared values and

There is a close connection with the local parish and its worshipping community and children experience worship both in school and in Church as a quality activity, central to the life of the school and its Christian vision. Worship is therefore an area of the school’s life which presents special opportunities to promote spiritual development. It also has the potential to contribute to faith nurture, providing an understanding of the Christian faith that the children can embrace, experience, and learn more about.

At the same time, it is recognized that children come from a variety of backgrounds reflecting the plural and secular nature of our society, including:

  • Families with a Christian commitment and belief
  • Parents who have specifically chosen a Church school for its ethos
  • Members of other faith communities
  • Those who have no particular belief
  • Those for whom our school is the local school

Our school worship is intended to be meaningful and sensitive to all these needs.

Focus and Content of Worship

Collective worship is seen as a rich opportunity to provide for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. For this to be successful worship should:

  • have a sense of occasion;
  • invite participation;
  • be concerned with the worship of God;
  • provide an opportunity for pupils to explore their inner feelings;
  • provide opportunities for individuals and the community to share what is of importance to them/it;
  • celebrate beliefs, values and ideals;
  • respect the integrity of all individuals, valuing everyone as a child of God;
  • promote Christian moral values;
  • promote the moral codes of our school and explore the rationale for them;
  • reflect on models of moral virtue in literature and the lives of contemporary people and those of the past;
  • foster a sense of community and belonging;
  • be varied in style and include different forms of expression g. art, music, story, dance;
  • celebrate pupils’ talents and achievements;
  • make use of symbols and

Collective worship can include material from faiths other than Christianity, for example marking the major festivals of other faiths. Learning about them is part of the general religious and cultural education of pupils. It is also a way of developing a growing understanding and valuing of members of other faiths in the school. The inclusion of such experiences does not mean the worship itself becomes Muslim or Hindu worship. The worship remains Christian.

Our full Collective Worship Policy can be found here    Collective-Worship-Policy 24

 

Our connection with St. Andrew’s Church

We have a close relationship with our local church. Rev. Janet Faull visits school every week and is also a member of the Governing Body. The church is often used as part of learning in RE. The children also attend services in the church throughout the year. The church website can be accessed by –

https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/5880/ 

Great Rollright, St. Andrew's Church © Michael Garlick cc-by-sa/2.0 ...

What is spirituality?

“Spirituality is about our relationships with ourselves, our family, friends, those around us, to God and to all of creation.”

Prof. Ursula King

Spirituality is the way in which we combine our thoughts and emotions to reflect, respond to, and seek to give meaning and purpose to the experiences that we encounter in life. 

Spiritual development Is not about becoming more spiritual, it is about realising or becoming more and more aware of one’s natural, innate spirituality.

 

We use our ‘Good Shepherd’ analogy to clarify this meaning.

 We gaze out through our ‘shepherd’ eyes onto the world, learning about life in all its fullness and responding with our emotions to try and make sense of what we see.

We use our ‘shepherd’s’ heart and mind to reflect on our thoughts and feelings, and to consider how what we see connects with our inner selves.

This becomes a spiritual experience when it transforms us and so we walk in his footsteps into life differently from before, by putting actions to our beliefs and values.

Our full Spirituality Policy can be accessed here –Spirituality Policy 2024