Collective Worship Policy

Our Vision

With God's help we will find our gifts, develop our strengths and share them with others.

Our Values

To develop confidence and respect, show detremination, create friendship and share in the celebration.

At St. John’s Primary School, worship is a central part of each school day. Acts of worship are wholly Christian, with opportunity for reflection on a variety of aspects of life for all children.

The School Aims for Worship are:

  1. To offer to God the Father the glory due to His name, through Jesus Christ His Son our Lord.
  2. To provide the opportunity for pupils to worship God, to consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs.
  3. To provide pupils with the opportunity to pray.
  4. To ensure acts of worship are meaningful and relevant to pupils.
  5. To challenge pupils to think about Bible stories and teaching and thereby to provide all pupils with an opportunity to reflect upon Christian beliefs and values.
  6. To celebrate Christian festivals and major saint days.
  7. To develop an understanding of acts of formal worship in the Christian Church.
  8. To mark or celebrate occasions of importance to the school and to the wider, local and national community.
  9. To respectfully acknowledge festivals, traditions and beliefs of other faiths.
  10. To explore universal values such as courage, compassion, justice and forgiveness
  11. To encourage respect for others.
  12. To encourage a sense of purpose and service that is greater than the individual.
  13. To enable pupils to make connections between different aspects of the curriculum and different areas of their lives.
  14. To define and reinforce the shared Christian values and ethos of the school community.

Themes of Collective Worship at St. John's School 

At all acts of worship, candles are lit on the front table to remind the children of the presence of God.  When these are lit, it is a sign to the children that they are present at worship and to behave with reverence. 

Themes are selected as a focus for school assemblies, based on the chosen Christian values, and are linked together through the term. The themes may also include major events and festivals in the church year, stories from the Bible and from other religious faiths, topics from the curriculum, known national and international events and aspects from the school calendar. Teachers may chose from a range of methods to approach worship. These include:

  • reflecting from Christian symbols and their use in worship
  • observing the cycle of the Anglican year
  • pupils' contributions
  • reflection time and silence
  • identified prayers and traditional responses, hymns and psalms
  • using the Bible as a source book for inspiration and learning
  • music, dance and drama
  • visitors

Start of Worship

A child to light the candle and say:-

"We light the candle to remind us that God is always with us"

Close of Worship

A child to put out the candle and say:-

"Even though the candle is out; we still remember that God is always with us"

Prayer

At St. John’s School, we believe that prayer should come from the heart, but we also know that it has to be taught by example. It should be communal or individual and at its heart it is communication between a worshipper and God.

Prayers that are said in class, in acts of collective worship both in school and in services are often written by the children either with support from the teachers or by themselves either in school or at home. There is a Prayer Box in the Reception Area for pupils to put any prayers that they may have written during break or lunchtime or from home. These prayers are frequently used in acts of collective worship. The children are also encouraged to say both the Lord’s Prayer and the School Prayer throughout the week, and always one of these prayers is said at the end of the Celebration Assembly.                         

Lunchtime Prayer (Ruby Class)

The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun, the rain and the apple seed
The Lord is good to me.

Home time Song (Ruby Class)

Now the day has ended what a lovely day it’s been
Thank you for the things we’ve done and all the things we’ve seen.
We thank you for the games we’ve played
And all the friends we’ve made
And we know the Lord is watching over us.
(Slap, Clap)
We know the Lord is watching over us.
(Prayer Hands)

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

Amen.

Our School Prayer

Dear God
Thank you for St. John’s School and
For making us one whole family.
Help us to remember that we are a team,
And should all work together and
Care for each other. Keep our hearts
Full of love and friendship.
Thank you for our friend Catriona who no longer is with us.
Help us to keep the school’s Golden Rules.
Thank you for helping us to celebrate our good works and achievements.
We ask you to keep us all safe.

Amen.

Worship in Church and in School

School worship includes whole school services at St. John’s Church at least twice every term. Parents, carers, visitors, members of the community are invited to join the children in their worship on these occasions and the church is usually full.

Whole School Collective Worship takes place every day. The programme for assemblies for each week is as follows (occasionally subject to change):

Monday 9am – an act of worship based on Christian Values led by Senior Management - KS 2 & Yr.2 in the hall, Reception & Yr.1 in Sapphire Class

Tuesday at 9am – an act of worship led by the Vicar from St. John’s Church, Father Peter Godden

Wednesday at 9am – an act of worship based on a story from the bible, a topic linked to the work by the School Council or Community Group, linked to the curriculum or a visitor led by both the pupils and  Senior Management – KS2 & Yr.2 in the hall, Reception & Yr.1 in Sapphire Class

Wednesday at 1pm – music/singing/ hymn practice session in the hall led by Mrs. Miller

Thursday – all classes have their own collective worship in class usually at the end of the day linked to the theme for the week

Friday at 9am – whole school Celebration Assembly – parents and carers are invited to this assembly

Notes for Guidance

  • Class assemblies take place once a term on a Wednesday morning,
  • Pupils are encouraged to participate in all acts of collective worship.
  • On Wednesday twice a half-term, the Headteacher works with pupils in Diamond Class in preparing an act of collective worship for the following Wednesday’s assembly.
  • All Collective Acts of Worship are 20 minutes long
  • Celebration assembly lasts for 30 minutes to allow time for work, behaviour and effort to be celebrated as well as outside achievements such as sporting, musical, special projects with the whole school. Each class awards two certificates for achievement and two certificates for the value of the half-term. In addition, a cup is awarded to the class for the highest attendance and the highest number of team points. Children lead the school in the singing, help with the distribution of certificates throughout the assembly and Father Peter leads the whole school in prayer at the end of the assembly.
  • Records of all acts of worship  held in school are available for inspection by parents and governors on request

Withdrawal from Collective Worship

It is the view of the governors that having chosen a Church of England School for their children, parents at St. John’s have accepted its faith and teaching, although they retain the statutory right to withdrawal of their children from Religious Education and Collective Worship. Parents also commit themselves and their children to supporting the school in all its activities, including Church services. For this reason the governors expect that very few, if any parents will exercise the option under the law. Withdrawal must be made in writing to, and discussed with, the Headteacher and may be referred to the Chair of Governors.

Teachers who work at the school have accepted – on appointment – their duty individually and collectively to promote and to lead in Religious Education and Collective Worship at the school, although their own faiths and levels of conviction will undoubtedly vary.

Inclusion

Provision is made for those pupils with SEN/disabilities to participate in the Collective Worship of the school by:

  • providing adapted or modified seating arrangements
  • providing support from adults when needed

Monitoring and Evaluation

This policy is reviewed regularly by the Headteacher and the senior management team and ratified by the Governing Body every two years.

 

Accepted by the Governing Body: January, 2018

Review Date: January, 2020