Collective Worship Policy
Lead Person Wendy Stone
Policy Date October 2014
Review Date October 2017
MINSTER CHURCH OF ENGLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL
Minster Church of England Primary School
Collective Worship Policy
‘Ready to Face the World’
Our school has a warm, Christian family ethos where our children thrive in a secure and happy atmosphere. They are fully supported and nurtured from when they join us until they leave our care.
Minster Primary School is a Church of England Primary School and our Christian values are at the heart of everything we do.
These are then underpinned by our learning values.
Our whole school ethos for learning and behaviour is guided by them. Each aspect of
school life is encountered through these values to establish a forward thinking, diverse
and innovative culture in which our entire school community flourishes.
Every school policy is written with this in mind.
The Education Reform Act (ERA) requires all pupils registered in maintained schools to attend a daily act of collective worship (ERA 6 (1)).
In classes where children are not predominantly of statutory school age children will be gradually integrated into whole schools collective worship over their Foundation Year. They will have daily opportunities for collective worship.
The act of collective worship in this Church of England controlled school will reflect Anglican beliefs, practices and values in accordance with the practice observed in the school since its foundation.
The material used will be drawn from Christian sources as all Collective Worship is Christian based but reference may be made to the beliefs and practices of other faith communities so that the children can grow in tolerance and understanding of these faiths and cultures. The framework from the Diocese, ‘Putting Worship at the Heart of Assembly’, is used on a four year rolling programme.
To celebrate and affirm personal worth and religious belief
To explain and celebrate the major festivals in the church calendar
To offer the opportunity for spiritual awareness and growth and use silence as a means to encourage reflection, contemplation and prayer and to introduce the children to some formal elements of Christian worship, eg The Lord’s Prayer and the School’s Blessing (See Appendix I and II).
To provide our children with the opportunity to experience a variety of forms of worship and become more aware of their own beliefs and those of others
To celebrate difference and diversity within Christianity
To attempt to create feelings of awe, wonder and appreciation, gratitude and respect
To celebrate individual achievement, school achievement and wider community achievement within the context of worship
PLANNING AND CO-ORDINATION
Acts of worship will be planned for a termly period using “Making the Most of Collective Worship -A Four Year Cycle”.
Each term the school will take a theme from, Putting Assembly at the Heart of Worship/The Kent Agreed Syllabus and may link collective worship with material for class RE sessions.
Dates in the Christian calendar, including some Saints’ Days may be included in the programme.
Whole school collective worship will usually take place on two days in the week. On occasions, when a whole school assembly is not possible, the daily act of worship will take place in their own class/Key Stage/Year Group.
Guidelines for leading classroom worship are shown in “Making the Most of Collective Worship -A Four Year Cycle”.
Individual guidance for staff leading whole school collective worship will be given by the Worship Leader.
Whole School Collective Worship
We will aim to use a variety of Bible and other stories to raise issues and encourage the children to reflect on Christian, spiritual, moral insights as well as social and emotional learning.
Children will be invited to contribute to worship by sharing their thoughts, reflecting, praying, taking active roles within worship etc. Expression through singing and a variety of music will be a consistent part of our collective worship.
We will celebrate achievements as a method of affirmation.
Once a year, parents will be invited in to celebrate their children’s achievements.
We will encourage reflection through the use of a ‘thinking’ candle or other focus.
We will encourage reflection and prayer, we may use the school prayer, the Lord’s prayer or other prayers daily.
Time will be given to reflect on world-wide issues with which the children may empathise.
A termly worship plan will be drawn up incorporating the Diocesan/Kent themes each year with leaders/focus/songs identified. The children will be encouraged to aid the evaluating by contributing to the book of reflection.
Regular monitoring of Collective Worship will take place to ensure it is being effective.
PARISH LINKS AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY
The school enjoys a close link with the parish church of St Mary’s. The vicar leads the regular acts of worship for the school, both in church and in school.
The school invites speakers from other denominations to lead Collective Worship and other community members are invited whose work involves Christian service to others.
Worship will challenge stereotypes, misinformation and misconceptions about race, gender and religion. Although we promote the Christian ethos of Minster C. of E. School we also value the beliefs of all children in our school and allow them to feel that their views are recognised and valued.
TEACHERS’ RIGHT NOT TO ATTEND COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
From the time of the 1944 Education Act, teachers have had the legal right not to attend assemblies with religious subject matter. Any refusal to attend the daily act of collective worship, to fulfil their personal beliefs, will not be used to discriminate against them.
PARENTS’ RIGHT TO WITHDRAW PUPILS FROM RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
From the time of the 1944 Education Act, parents have had the right to withdraw their children from collective worship. The school must comply with any requests from a parent to withdraw their child and parents are not required to give their reasons for wanting to do so. The parent is responsible for providing suitable material and activities to fulfil their personal beliefs. Supervision will be provided for any withdrawn children during worship times.
This policy needs to be read in conjunction with all other school policies.