Newbold C of E Primary School Collective Worship Policy
1. Aims and purpose
1.1 The aims and purpose of collective worship in our school are:
- to provide an opportunity for the children to worship God;
- to enable children to consider spiritual and moral issues;
- to enable children to explore their own beliefs;
- to encourage participation and response;
- to develop in children a sense of community spirit;
- to promote a common ethos with shared values and to reinforce positive attitudes;
- to teach children how to worship.
2. Collective worship
2.1 At our school we understand worship to be a special act or occasion whose purpose is to show reverence to God. Collective worship involves all members of the school coming together and participating in an act of worship. We expect everyone to take an active part in collective worship.
2.2 In line with the 1988 Education Reform Act, which states that collective worship should be 'wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character', we normally base our assemblies on the teachings of Christ and traditions of the Christian Church. However, we conduct our collective worship in a manner that is sensitive to the individual faith and beliefs of all members of the school.
2.3 While the majority of acts of worship in our school are Christian, we also hold assemblies that reflect other religious traditions that are represented in the school and the wider community.
3. Organization of collective worship
3.1 We hold a daily act of collective worship in our school.
3.2 We conduct collective worship in a dignified and respectful way. We tell children that collective worship is a period of calm reflection. We regard it as a special time and expect children to behave in an appropriate way. We ask them to be quiet and thoughtful and to listen carefully to the teachings. We also invite them to participate in discussion, question and answer sessions, prayer and hymns/songs of worship. We create an appropriate atmosphere by playing music, displaying images and using other objects that act as a focal point for the attention of the children. Lighting candles plays a special part in our collective worship. Each class has its own candle, which is lit by a candle monitor, as well as three-wicked Trinity candle. This special candle is lit by the head teacher as the children say together “We light this candle in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
3.3 The head teacher leads collective worship weekly. There is a theme for these taken from the 'Values For Life' programme. The theme is displayed at the entrance of the hall so everyone in school knows what it is. It is sent home with discussion ideas for parents and is often followed up in classrooms during RE lessons. Once a week a member of staff leads collective worship with a PSHE/ British Values theme. Children participate in hymn practice, singing a selection of traditional hymns as well as learning new hymns and songs of worship. Two members of staff are time-tabled to work together to deliver a 'Seeing Anew' collective worship. This is a creative, engaging programme for delivering collective worship in a slightly different way. On Fridays we celebrate achievement assembly where children are selected to share what they have been doing in class with the rest of the school. We also acknowledge birthdays, attendance and those who have earned a place on the 'top table' for good behaviour at lunchtimes.
Once a fortnight an achievement assembly offers an opportunity to acknowledge and reward children for their achievements both in and out of school. They play an important part in promoting the ethos of the school, which is that all children are valued and all achievements are recognised.
3.4 We invite parents and governors into assembly for a variety of reasons and we encourage them to attend, as this promotes the community spirit of the school and is a practical demonstration of the way the home and the school work together to support the achievements of our children. We communicate the themes of our collective worship to parents via an information sheet, giving them the opportunity to discuss these with their children at home should they wish to do so.
4. Right of withdrawal
4.1 We expect all children to attend collective worship. However, any parent can request permission for their child to be excused from attending religious worship and the school will make alternative arrangements for the supervision of the child during the period concerned. Parents do not have to explain or give reasons for this. This complies with the 1944 Education Act and was restated in the 1988 Education Reform Act.
5. Monitoring and review
5.1 It is the role of the head teacher and the collective worship co-ordinator to monitor the policy and practice of collective worship.