Collective Worship offers pupils and staff to encounter faith by engaging in conversations about God, both as individuals and together. We gather together on a daily basis to provide an opportunity for children and staff to worship God and to encourage us all to respond to the spiritual dimension in our lives. We believe that this form of worship should be truly welcoming, inclusive and meet the needs of all.
Inclusive, Invitational, and Inspiring
Inclusive: Worship is collective in that it involves meeting, exploring, questioning, and responding to others and, for some, to God. Pupils should be given the opportunity to think and ask questions. There should be space to consent, and dissent: to participate and to stand back; and to consider. Collective worship should not be ‘done to’ but will involve meaningful contributions from the whole school community. It is recognised that pupils will bring their own experience to worship. Inclusion requires pupil involvement in planning, leading and the evaluation of worship. Collective worship should validate, embrace and celebrate all protected characteristics.
Invitational: Parents, pupils and adults can expect to encounter worship that is consistently invitational. Collective Worship should provide the opportunity to engage whilst allowing the freedom of those of different faiths and those who profess no religious faith to be present and to engage with integrity. Pupils and adults should always only be invited to pray if they wish to do so and should be invited to pray in their own way. Prayer should always be accompanied by the option to reflect.
Inspiring: Pupils and adults can expect the worship they encounter to be inspirational. Worship should be formational and transformational: it should enable pupils and adults to ask big questions about who we are and why we do what we do. It should motivate pupils and adults into action, into thinking differently, and into reflecting on their and the wider community’s behaviour and actions. As a result of inspirational collective worship, they should be inspired to become courageous advocates of causes. It should encourage them to think searchingly about their faith, beliefs and/or philosophical convictions
Aims of Collective Worship
- To firmly establish an Anglican pattern of worship putting the opportunity for prayer and reflection at the centre.
- To develop a feeling of community where everyone is valued.
- To celebrate individual and group achievements in using our God given talents.
- To encourage participation and response through the children’s own presentation of worship.
- To illustrate and celebrate the highest qualities of human spirit and achievement in triumph or adversity.
- To help the children understand aspects of our Christian faith.
- To develop a sense of communion in which children know they belong, with shared values of forgiveness and reconciliation, and an understanding of the needs of ourselves and of others.
- To further develop the partnership between our school, St. Ann’s Church, and the wider community through our shared Christian faith.
- To share good Collective Worship practice with other schools within the diocese.
- To develop a respect for the beliefs and traditions of other Christian denominations and other World Religions. It should help to diminish arrogance and prejudice and strengthen our witness to peace and reconciliation.
As the act of worship is central to the ethos of the school, we expect all children to attend Collective Worship unless their parents exercise the right to withdraw their child/children. Staff are also expected to attend appropriate assemblies to share together in worship and support the promotion of the school’s and church’s Christian values.
Organisation of Worship
The children are encouraged to enter the hall quietly whilst a piece of classical/reflective music is played. A candle is lit and a Liturgical greeting and response - ‘The Lord be with you’ is used to demonstrate that the act of worship has commenced. The Holy Trinity is referenced as the candle is lit – ‘We meet in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Amen’. This is then followed by a story/media clip, a period of reflection, a prayer and a hymn. The worship ends with another Liturgical greeting and response - ‘Peace be with you’. The candle is extinguished and the pupils are encouraged to leave the hall quietly whilst the music is playing.
At the start of each half term, the Christian value which will be focused upon during that half term is introduced.
At the start of the school year, we hold a Dedication Service at which we welcome all our new starters into the church community. At this service the Parish Church Council present a school bible to every new starter.
At the end of each half term we hold a service at St. Ann’s church. This is led by a particular year group and is attended by the whole school. Parents/carers and PCC are invited to take part in the service. The service uses a wide variety of presentation; dance, drama, art and music usually play a part in the service. The worship is led by the children.
The whole school also attend an Epiphany and Ash Wednesday Service held at St Ann’s Church which are both led by the Reverend.
Once a year each KS2 class joins the church community for the mid-week Communion Service held at St Ann’s Church. Parents/ carers and the PCC are invited to this service. During the service, the children act as sacristans, lead the readings, the prayers of intercession and sing hymns. During communion they receive a grape, a visible reminder that they also are part of the Lord’s Vineyard. Those pupils who have been confirmed receive the Eucharist.
On an annual basis we also hold joint Eucharist services with other schools within our Trust.
At the end of their primary education, our Year 6 children attend the leavers’ service held at the Anglican Cathedral.
We also celebrate significant Anglican Festivals within the Church’s calendar. Where appropriate, we also celebrate stories and festivals from other World Religions.
Children in Key Stage 2 are responsible for leading class worship six times a year, with each child having this opportunity once each academic year. The children are able to contribute prayers to the worship. During the course of worship, the children themselves are encouraged to contribute their own prayers (spontaneous prayer) based upon their own intentions.
Our Values Ambassadors support whole school worship each day, completing the liturgical greeting at he beginning and end of assembly.
The spiritual, social, cultural and moral welfare of all our children is of prime concern to us at St Ann’s. To that end Christian values, Fundamental British Values, UNICEF Children’s Rights Charter articles and sustainable global goals are built into our ethos and teaching and are reflected in our themes on which our daily act of worship is based.
Each year we focus upon six of the Christian Values (one each half term) and the values we explore are changed on a bi-annual basis. Our aim through worship is to educate our children and to make them aware of what it means to be an Anglican community committed to caring for each other, God and our environment. We hope to create an atmosphere in which the children are invited, rather than compelled to explore issues for themselves. They reflect upon and learn from their own experiences and the experiences of others, develop sensitivity and a profound sense of wonder and awe. They have a sense of the mystery for the world of which they are part.
Our school worship is about sharing what is meaningful and significant in our lives. It is about sharing our common concerns and responsibilities and developing positive attitudes and values. It is about affirming the equality of each individual in God’s sight regardless of a child’s culture and belief, race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, ability and disability, age or sexual orientation.
Evaluation of Impact of Collective Worship
Collective Worship is evaluated through various strategies:
- Pupils reflect on each act of worship they take part in and their reflection is recorded formally at least once a week. Reflections are captured on a poster. Posters are collected in weekly and reviewed, and presented in a whole school portfolio.
- Our RE Lead along with senior leadership monitors the quality of our Collective Worship provision and makes improvement suggestions.
- Staff fully participate in Collective Worship and feedback their observations to the RE team.
- Pupil views about Collective Worship is gathered and analysed through interviews and questionnaires.
The daily act of worship plays an important part in the overall development of the children here at St Ann’s. It provides a unique opportunity for the school community to re-affirm its beliefs and ponder questions of profound meaning. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate what is good, to establish common ideals and identify a way of working and living with other human beings that will hopefully influence our children beyond childhood and into their adult years.
Withdrawing Pupils from Collective Worship
The 1996 Education Act gives parents the legal right to withdraw their children from Collective Worship. This is upheld under the 1998 Act.
As an Anglican school we hold great value in the power of collective worship to formulate, enhance and celebrate the power and wonder of our Christian Faith. This said, if parents wish to withdraw their child from Collective Worship we request that the reasons be put in writing and submitted to the Headteacher.