Collective Worship Policy
Through a positive caring environment, we provide the opportunity for every child to reach their full potential. We embrace Christian values and ensure all children are ready for their next steps.
- We will provide the opportunity for everyone to achieve their full potential.
- We set high expectations for ourselves and each other.
- We will ensure that Christian values are at the heart of our community.
- We take into account the unique qualities of each child and ensure their individual needs are met.
- We will involve parents and carers in the education of their children and encourage their participation in school life.
- We will ensure all children have access to an engaging and exciting curriculum that promotes learning and makes full use of the outdoor environment and our rural setting.
The Trust Deed and school ethos statement inform the policy and practice of collective worship in Hartpury CE Primary School. School worship is an affirmation and celebration of the Christian foundation values and ethos of the school.
Worship is central to the life and purposes of our school and will reflect the Christian understanding of God as Trinity. This will include belief in God the source of all being and life, belief in Jesus who reveals God’s love by his life, death and resurrection and belief in the Holy Spirit who makes the presence of Jesus known in the world.
Through collective worship in our school we aim to:
- Provide an experience of worship that will allow children to respond to the presence, power and peace of God.
- Introduce children to Christian language and symbolism and the cycle of the church year.
- Explore a variety of ways of praying and introduce children to some well-known Christian prayers, e.g. Lord’s Prayer.
- Strengthen and support the school community giving expression to and reaffirming the Christian values of the school.
- Celebrate the gifts that each child brings to the school community, recognising the uniqueness of each individual made in the image of God.
- Encourage children to reflect on the puzzling questions that life poses and to respond to the wonder and mystery of the world around them.
- Foster a concern for others within the school and wider world.
- Foster an appreciation of the created world and an awareness of our responsibility for it.
There must be a daily act of collective worship for all pupils which takes account of their age and aptitude. (Education Reform Act 1988). Parents have the right to withdraw children from collective worship and suitable arrangements should be made to accommodate these children. Since this is a church school however, worship is central to its life and work and is regarded as a very important part of children’s education.
Elements of Worship
The three elements of worship: affirmation, celebration and response are included in our daily acts of worship. Affirmation provides the children with the opportunity to affirm some value of ultimate worth, such as the importance of each person, which for Christians would be expressed in the image of God. The act of celebration is designed to mark what is affirmed through music, drama, reading, dance or acknowledgement of effort or achievement. Response is encouraged either collectively or individually through prayer or silent reflection.
The Daily Act of Worship
Worship is held at 2.50pm every day and lasts twenty minutes. Every week we hold four whole school acts of worship, emphasising the unity of the school, and one class based act of worship led by class teachers and tailored more to the specific needs of different age groups. Our local Church of England vicar leads one of the weekly acts of worship, as do the local Open the Book team, and others are led by the head teacher and other members of staff. Children are also encouraged to lead all or part of the worship or may contribute with readings or prayers.
Worship is held in the hall, where there is a wooden cross as a focal point and candles are lit to represent the Trinity at the start of each worship. We have runners on the worship table in liturgical colours (see appendix), mirroring the church year and there are banners made by children with biblical verses. Music is played as children enter and leave the hall to encourage an atmosphere of reflection. The Lord’s Prayer is recited regularly, along with our school prayer. A wide range of approaches are used in worship, including drama, discussion, reflection, reading, singing and prayer.
The children also attend three services in Church each year: a carol service, Harvest Festival and a service to celebrate Mothering Sunday, led by the local vicar.
We have adopted twelve Christian values that form the basis of our worship and wider school life.
Each value is looked at for a term and all worship is planned around this value, as well as being promoted throughout the school. Care is taken to ensure that understanding of each value is rooted in the Bible and the example of Jesus.
We have added in significant dates in the Christian year and days of particular importance such as Remembrance Day. We are also able to respond to local, national or world events (or a need from the children), that merit reflection and prayers.
A range of resources are available to all staff, including the Gloucester Diocese ‘Values for Life’ packs, ‘Jack in the Box’ and ‘Open the Box’ by Shanhe Vickery and the ‘Windows, Mirrors, Doors’ reflection journals, which all children are encouraged to complete. Classes all have a special worship box that includes age appropriate Bibles and prayer books as well as a worship cloth, candle and other helpful resources and artefacts.
Role of the Co-ordinator
The co-ordinator is responsible for supporting staff in their planning of worship where necessary. The co-ordinator is also responsible for organising and replenishing resources and for monitoring all aspects of worship within the school.
Evaluation of Worship
The co-ordinator monitors whole school and class acts of worship throughout the year, alongside the head teacher and governors. The quality of worship in school is also evaluated by the Bishop’s Visitor on his/her annual visit. From time to time parents and pupils are asked for their opinions through a questionnaire, in discussion groups and their views are taken into account in future planning of worship.
The policy will be reviewed in 2017.
Updated by: R Marks, April 2014.
- From Christmas Day to the Presentation at the Temple (2nd Feb)
- From Easter Day to the eve of Pentecost.
- Holy week; Pentecost; All Saint’s Day (1st Nov) to the beginning of Advent.
- Advent; Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday
- From the Presentation (2nd Feb) to Shrove Tuesday; from Pentecost to All Saint’s Eve (31st Oct)
In chronological order:
White 25th Dec – 2nd Feb
Green 2nd Feb – Shrove Tuesday
Purple Ash Wednesday – Palm Sunday (Lent)
Red Holy Week
White Easter Day – Pentecost
Green Pentecost – 31st Oct
Red 1st November – Advent
Purple Advent – 24th December