Collective Worship is an important part of our life in school. It is a time when we come together as a community to celebrate, praise and thank God for the wonders of his creation.
Collective Worship takes place every day, usually during our mid-morning assembly in school.
“With gratitude in your hearts, sign psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.” (Col 3:16)
We do visit our church for special occasions.
“Praise God in His holy place.” (Ps150;1)
Sometimes we have a class assembly in a classroom.
“Where two or three meet in my name I am there among them.” (Mt 18:20)
• We might also have collective worship outside.
“Heaven and earth are full of your glory.” (Roman Missal)
Collective worship provides the opportunity for pupils to worship God, to consider spiritual and moral issues, and to explore their own beliefs. It encourages participation and response through:
• active involvement in the presentation of worship
• listening to and joining in with the worship offered
• developing community spirit
• promoting a common ethos and shared values
• reinforcing positive attitudes
These are distinct activities, although they may take place as part of the same gathering. Collective Worship is an educational activity or experience which all can contribute to and from which all can gain. It can relate to our day-to-day life, hopes and concerns, and it takes into account the religious and educational needs of the people involved, such as:
• those who form part of the worshipping community in church
• those for whom school may be their first and only experience of church
• those from other Christian traditions
• those from other faith backgrounds
Worship in our school is more than just a legal requirement. It is central to Catholic education and forms an essential part of our overall provision for prayer and worship. Whilst respecting diversity of belief and commitment, our collective worship is Catholic in character, reflects the liturgical tradition of the Church, and has Christ at its heart.
Worship in schools will necessarily be of a different character from worship amongst a group with beliefs in common. The legislation reflects this difference in referring to “collective worship” rather than “corporate worship”. (Education Reform Act 1988 s.6(1))
We provide opportunities for pupils and staff to come together to worship God. We aim to:
• enrich the religious experience of children and staff
• reflect on or respond to spiritual and moral issues
• enable and encourage a sense of belonging
• reinforce positive attitudes
• build a firm foundation for liturgy
• develop community spirit
• reflect on personal belief
• contemplate something of the mystery of God
• enrich the religious experience of children and staff
• experience awe and wonder
• take time out
• encourage a common ethos and shared values
• be led by pupils, staff or visitors to school
• be offered for a class, a phase or for the whole school
• contain a balance of quiet reflection, silence, prayers, responses, music, songs, candles, dance, drama, slides, video excerpts or a short address
• have an appropriate theme, focus, delivery length and use appropriate resources which match the age range, backgrounds and ability of the participating pupils
• be a focus provided by artefacts, candles, symbols and lighting
• respect the freedom of pupils and staff in the invitation to prayer and worship
• set an appropriate atmosphere
• encourage the engagement and participation of all present
• make the link between faith and everyday life
• help to promote a common ethos and shared vision
• full participation modelled by the adults present
• be a quality activity, fundamental to the life of the school and its Catholic character
• develop, in our pupils, skills that enable them to prepare, organise and lead worship
We plan the process of collective worship by considering:
Gather: How will we begin? How will I create an atmosphere of prayer?
Word: What will be the scripture focus and how should it be presented?
Response: What will we do in response to listening to God’s Word e.g. prayer and symbolic action.
Going Forth: What will I do to help the pupils take the message away with them?
In order to encourage participation and engagement, our collective worship is:
• Short and appropriately paced (children’s attention span lasts in any one activity for an average of one minute per year of life i.e, 5-6 mins for Key Stage 1 and 7-10 mins for Key Stage 2)
• Simple, including a range of experiences offered in a variety of groupings and in a variety of settings.
Our RE co-ordinator ensures that collective worship is properly planned, adequately resourced, recorded, monitored and evaluated.
The whole schoolmeets together for collective worship incorporated in the ‘Good News’ Assembly, celebrated each Friday.
EYFS and Key Stage 1meet once a week with their class teachers, and Key Stage 2also meet once a week with their class teachers for collective worship.
Class Collective Worship is led by the class teacher on days when there is not a key stage or whole school collective worship. Parents and families are invited to attend school masses and assemblies during the year.
Collective Worship is planned with reference to the Church’s seasons, significant dates and the curriculum, but allows for flexibility in responding to changing situations in school and our wider community. It is evaluated by staff and pupils with reference to the variety of Collective Worship experiences possible.
• Formulating a written policy for collective worship
• Ensuring that there is a development plan for collective worship which may at times form part of the School Development Plan
• Ensuring that collective worship is appropriate to the age, aptitudes and family backgrounds of pupils
• Ensuring that collective worship takes account of the religious and educational needs of all who share in it and is rooted in the principles of ‘Directory for Masses with Children’
• Organising themes for worship
• Assisting the governors and Headteacher in carrying out their legal responsibilities with regard to collective worship
• Ordering appropriate resources
• Maintaining and developing effective procedures and documentation
• Observing, on occasions, an Act of Collective Worship
• Informing the Head teacher of standards and developments in Collective Worship
• Communicating to members of the school community the significance and content of Acts of Collective Worship
• Reporting to and consulting with the governors and Head teacher regarding matters of concern and development
• Acting as consultant to colleagues
• Encouraging positive attitudes towards collective worship
• Informing newly appointed colleagues of school policy regarding collective worship
• Communicating with parents, governors and the parish community
• Liaising with the parish priest
• Liaising with the Diocesan RE Centre