Collective Worship Policy

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1 One Family Achieving more together Collective Worship Policy Rationale This collective policy document is written in conjunction with the School Christian Values of; Love, Respect and Responsibility along with Compassion, Perseverance, Hope and Curiosity which identifies that St. Mary s will be: a vibrant learning community with a Christian culture and a climate that encourages creativity, challenge and enquiring minds. We seek to nurture self-esteem, promote respect and empower individuals to achieve their true potential St Mary s Vision statement UNCRC Article 14: Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide their children on these matters. Collective worship & the law Church schools in the Diocese of Winchester must fulfil two legal requirements for Collective Worship: A daily Act of Worship for all pupils Collective worship in Church schools must be in accordance with the school s Trust Deed (see appendices 1 and 2). Aims To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God. Archbishop William Temple ( ) Collective Worship at St. Mary s will support the school s mission statement by providing opportunities for pupils and staff: to explore a relationship with God in Jesus Christ to develop the sense of being part of a family - 1 -

2 to consider spiritual and moral issues to explore their own beliefs to become more familiar with a range of Anglican traditions and practice to encourage participation and response, sharing what is meaningful and significant to them to have time and space for silence, reflection and exploration to promote a common ethos based on Christian values Collective Worship at St. Mary s: In line with the Diocese of Winchester and Portsmouth, we offer a four step approach to our Collective Worships, comprising; Gathering, Engagement, Responding and Concluding. Gathering together is signified in school through designating a reflective focus point; for example a candle within a classroom or the school Act of Worship table in the hall for whole school worship. Music is played as children enter and a candle is lit to symbolise that Jesus is with us as we worship and he is the Light of the World. Engagement is expected from all of our participants. Through lively, engaging and fun Acts of Worship, it is an event in the day that pupils are enthusiastic about. A rich variety of forms of expressions, e.g. art, drama, music, story, provide opportunities to engage participants in different ways. Our Acts of Worship are frequently led by, or have active participation, of the pupils. The focus of the Acts of Worship will be based on the Bible and traditions of the Christian church. Responding involves all participants finding that quiet place - a moment to consider what they have heard or experienced. It is an opportunity to share what is meaningful or significant to them and to consider the wider significance to their day to day actions or thinking. Concluding usually involves a prayer to be read, with the invitation for participants to respond with Amen at the end. Some prayers will be from a number of sources, in particular the Lord s Prayer and the School s Prayer and some maybe more distinctly Anglican, such as some Anglican sentences and responses. There is a clear distinction between an Act of Worship, where the above guidelines are used, and Assembly, which is an opportunity to share in achievements, publicise notices or join together for other reasons, where the above guidelines would not be used. We clearly refer to latter occasions as an Assembly

3 Planning: The Head teacher and a team, made up of the Collective Worship coordinator and the music coordinator, oversees the collective worship themes in school with the support of the local vicar. The themes are led by the School Christian values and where possible these are in time with the Christian religious calendar. Suitable links are also made to Religious Education that is going on within the school. The Collective Worship coordinator will let class teachers know at the start of the academic year if they have any pupils from other faith groups in their class and at what time of year they might like to share about their festivals and practises e.g. the Hindu festival of Diwali or the Muslim fast of Ramadan. This would be used as an assembly opportunity prior to or following the class act of worship time which would still maintain its Christian character. Classroom cards will be distributed to classrooms weekly with the theme and an appropriate bible reference clearly highlighted for use in class Acts of Worship or in the classroom generally. Reference will often be made to the bible reference discussed as a whole school at the beginning of the week to promote further discussion outside of collective worship. Children have weekly opportunities to respond to our themes of the week through displays set up around school. Implementation: Collective worship is held daily. The current weekly programme is broken down into: Monday: Whole school Act of Worship in the hall - led by the Head teacher and introducing the theme for the week. Tuesday / Thursday: Year group Act of Worship or Class Act of Worship led/facilitated by the class teachers. On occasion parents are invited to attend their child s class Act of Worship (sharing assembly). Each term a year group act of worship is also held at the church to which parents are invited. Wednesday: Whole school Act of Worship in the hall led by Father Alec, Rev Sarah, Rev Rachel or visiting speakers from different denominations or backgrounds. Friday: Whole school Celebration with an Act of Worship within it again held in the hall led by a member of staff (all teachers have an opportunity to plan and lead this act of worship). The Acts of Worship last between twenty and twenty five minutes. We have a regular programme of services at St. Mary s Church, typically on Education Sunday, and at Harvest Festival, Christmas, Easter, the end of each term and also a Leavers Service. All children participate and parents are invited to attend. In addition, each - 3 -

4 term, within school, St Mary s Church join the upper school for a Eucharist service and the non-sacramental bread is blessed and taken to all lower school classes for all to share in. Governor attendances at Acts of Worship are always welcome. Right of withdrawal We expect all children to participate in times of 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. Roles, Responsibilities & Evaluation The Head teacher and Collective Worship coordinator oversee the planning, implementation, training and monitoring of Collective Worships. The coordinator liaises closely with the Vicar at St. Mary s Parish Church, Old Basing and Lychpit. The Parish vicar is fully involved in the worshipping life of the school and is a regular visitor and contributor to the school community. The Foundation Governors have a particular duty to ensure the Anglican character of the school and this will involve monitoring Collective Worship along with the designated Collective Worship coordinator. Evaluations of Collective worship are sought through a variety of groups including; pupil, whole classes, teachers, Collective Worship coordinator and Governors. Reviewed on: July 2016 Date to be reviewed: July

5 Appendix 1 The Trust Deeds & Terms of Union (originals overleaf) With regard to the trust deeds, the school s deeds state that St Mary s School will be: used as and for a school for the education of children only of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer class in the Parish of Basing aforesaid and as a residence for the Teacher or Teachers of the said school and for no other purposes which said School shall always be in Union with and conducted upon the core principles and in furtherance of the ends and designs of the Incorporated National Society for promoting the education of the poor in the principles of the established Church and shall at all reasonable times be opened to the inspection of the Inspector or Inspectors for the time being appointed or to be appointed in conformity with the Order of Council. Taken from the Trust Deeds (overleaf) This section has significance because of its reference to the core principles of the Incorporated National Society which states with regards the collective worship that, The governing body will ensure that all pupils each day engage meaningfully in a real act of Christian worship which is in accordance with the faith and practice of the Church. Taken from the terms of union with the National Society (a copy can be found on page 10) This does not mean other faiths are marginalised or ignored but worship will be Christian

6 Church of England Junior School The Trust Deeds -6-

7 - 7 -

8 Appendix 2 The Terms of Union with the National Society

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