Collective Worship

At Harleston C.E.V.A Primary School, our Collective Worship is centred on the Christian’ Values for Life’ programme. School Collective Worship is an affirmation and celebration of the Christian values and ethos of the school. Collective Worship is central to the life and purposes of our school. It is an inclusive act which encourages reflection in all present, of all faiths and none, rooted in the Christian understanding of God as Trinity.

As a Church school we want our children to have the opportunity to learn to worship and to grow in their understanding of God and of themselves. Collective Worship in our school is not simply a statutory duty. We believe that we are all made in the image of God and that worship should form an integral part of our lives. We believe that at its heart Collective Worship should provide an opportunity for pupils and staff to come together to learn, reflect and pray, sing, share and communicate their feelings with one another and to God.

Our school has close links with St John’s Church and the children enjoy taking part in services several times a year, including Harvest for which we supported the charity ‘Tearfund’, Christingle, supporting The Children’s Society, the Easter Service and a Leavers Service at the end of the Summer Term.  We also support charities close to the heart of the school, for example, at Dickleburgh Tree of Life  Festival of Light.

We continue to benefit from a wide range of visitors from our local community and churches who support and enhance our Collective Worship opportunities.

Collective Worship is central to its life and work and is regarded as a very important part of children’s education.  We seek to provide acts of Collective Worship that reflect the faith and practice of the Church of England therefore: We use the Bible as a sourcebook for inspiration and learning and make pupils familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, psalms and other passages of scripture. We provide opportunities to discover the value of silence and quiet reflection. We observe the major Christian festivals and celebrations.

In our school, we aim to provide a worship space which is attractive and well prepared with appropriate thought having been given to space, seating, ambience and music.

Connections with our local church

We foster links with St John’s Church, involving the clergy team in leading Collective Worship and providing a relationship between church and school.  At Harleston C.E.V.A Primary School, we work to promote links with other local churches and Christian organisations and welcome their clergy and leaders as contributors to acts of Collective Worship.

Aims and Purpose

Through Collective Worship in our school we aim to:

  • To provide an opportunity for the children to worship God
  • Introduce children to Christian language, symbolism and major Christian celebrations.
  • Explore a variety of ways of praying and introduce children to some well known Christian prayers, e.g. Lord’s Prayer and the Grace
  • Strengthen and support the school community, giving expression to and reaffirming the Christian values of the school
  • Celebrate the gifts that each person brings to the school community, recognising the uniqueness of each individual made in the image of God
  • Encourage reflection on the puzzling questions that life poses and response to the wonder and mystery of the world around us
  • Foster a concern for others within the school and the wider world
  • Foster an appreciation of the created world and an awareness of our responsibility for it.
  • Enable children to explore their own beliefs.

Organisation

Collective Worship will be undertaken in a range of ways – these will include whole school, Key Stage and class based.

The timing of collective worship Whole school Collective Worship will usually take place at 2.40pm.

Who Leads

All members of the teaching staff are part of a rota to lead Collective Worship. Children, teaching assistants and other stake holders are invited to lead throughout the year. The clergy team lead one session of Collective Worship per week. This alternates between the church and school.

Planning

An annual calendar of themes is planned for acts of Collective Worship; items from the church calendar are used where appropriate. We run a three year rolling programme, taking one value in depth each half term which are embedded in the ethos of the school.  Our children are encouraged to explore this from different perspectives. In this academic year we are focussing on:

  • Autumn First Half- Creativity
  • Autumn Second Half – Humility
  • Spring First Half – Justice
  • Spring Second Half- Hope
  • Summer First Half – Perseverance
  • Summer Second Half – Truthfulness

Content

Collective Worship will generally follow the structure below and include:

  • Gather Coming in to music, lighting of the Trinity andles, call and response
  • Engage Story, music, visual aids, drama, puppets, quizzes or activities.
  • Respond Reflection, prayer, discussion, questioning or singing
  • Send Prayer, blowing out of the candles or final thought

On a Friday, a Celebration Assembly takes place where children can share and celebrate their experiences, achievements and success. This is a celebration of the children’s work through the week and an opportunity to recognise individual achievements.

Contribution to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development

We recognise that although SMSC development should be fostered across the whole curriculum, acts of Collective Worship provide a multitude of opportunities in this area. For example, children will be encouraged to reflect on and celebrate the deeper meanings of life, consider their own behaviour and recognise the need for forgiveness, appreciate the contributions of others and respond to their needs, value their own culture and the cultures of others.