Worship Policy

Revision/Review History

Version Date Comments  

Review Date

1 September 2005 First draft
2 November 2005 Approved and issued June 2006
3 June 2006 Approved and issued June 2007
4 May 2007 Approved and issued May 2008
5 November 2007 Approved, amended and issued July 2009
6 April 2009 Approved and issued July 2010
7 January 2010 Amended, approved and issued January 2012
8 Spring 2012 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2014

 

  1. General Principle/Mission Statement

Collective Worship at St. John’s plays an important part in the life of our school and aims to raise awareness of the spiritual, religious and moral aspects of life.

Worship is an integral part of the school and offers the whole school community a range and variety of opportunities to experience of Christian worship, valued and honoured through the school’s Anglican foundation which affirms every individual’s unique contribution, regardless of age, sex, ability, background or religion.

  1. Legal Requirements

Our daily act of Collective Worship is in accordance with the Trust Deed of the school. This requires worship to be consistent with the faith, principles and practices of the Church of England.

We also take into account DfES legislation:
Worship will be

  • appropriate to the age, aptitude and family background of pupils
  • provided in a variety of settings, groupings and timings, with a variety of leaders
  • in sympathy with cultures and beliefs represented in the school community

We recognise the right of withdrawal from Worship for pupils at the request of parents and for staff, but currently enjoy the full support of the whole community. A quiet atmosphere and respect for the leader of collective worship is maintained at whole school assemblies. Class teachers are expected to promote this.

The staff and governors at St John’s are committed to ensuring that every child in the school will derive benefit from collective worship whatever her or his ability. Every attempt is made to ensure that materials are used that are appropriate to a range of abilities, aptitudes and interest.

Themes follow a yearly plan which is reviewed yearly by the Governing Body.

  1. Aims of Collective Worship

Collective worship makes an important contribution to the ethos and values of the school. Through worship we aim to:

  • enhance the spiritual development and the response of pupils
  • foster reflection, meditation, prayer and silence
  • create an atmosphere in which God is both normal and natural
  • foster a reverential attitude to God
  • foster empathy and imagination, enabling pupils to participate in a variety of ways and activities
  • explore and enjoy praise, prayer and the rituals of Christianity (the Anglican tradition in particular)

Through collective worship we aim to:

  • recognise the beliefs and culture of others, particularly those represented in the school community
  • develop a sense of community and shared values
  • consider the needs of others and to foster charitable works
  • be challenging and inspiring
  • celebrate the highest achievements of the human spirit
  • celebrate achievements of members of the school that are held to be of worth
  • foster a thought-provoking atmosphere allowing for spiritual reflection and response
  • if announcements are to be given at the same time as collective worship they will be given with a clearly defined break between them and the act of worship eg the blowing out of a candle
  1. Management of Collective Worship

The Governing Body have responsibility to ensure the Trust Deed of the school is honoured. The worship policy articulates its management and delivery. Parents are kept informed through the school newsletter/prospectus and website/media.

The Worship Co-ordinator has responsibility for managing this area of the curriculum on a day-to-day basis, ensuring all legal requirements are complied with. This involves the production of a coherent programme for Collective Worship, which has continuity of Christian teaching and experience and such breadth and balance as is appropriate to the school community.

Records of whole school worship are kept centrally. The Worship Co-ordinator has responsibility for auditing and purchasing resources and ensuring development in the subject. Monitoring is an on going process involving foundation governors and is carried out termly through teacher observation, pupil feedback on the quality of the school’s ethos. Collective worship will be on the school development plan.

  1. Implementation – Current Practice

Collective Worship is organized to provide a variety of groupings and takes place in the hall or classrooms for approximately 15 minutes although this may be lengthened or shortened when it is appropriate.

In order for Collective Worship to be delivered effectively, careful preparation, good organisation and resources are all key necessary elements.

The following key stage timetable each week is presented:-

Monday         – KS1/KS2 whole school worship lead by Headteacher or Assistant Head
Tuesday        – class based worship
Wednesday  – KS1 / KS2 assemblies
Thursday      – class based school worship
Friday           – whole school worship celebrating achievements of the children

Nursery & Reception children have class based worship 3 times a week.

In addition there are school worships in church at Harvest, Easter and at the end of the school year. The Eucharist is celebrated in school twice a year as well as other whole school services.

Reverence and calmness are essential elements of our time together and enable all participants to develop awareness of the purpose of this special time.

Parents and members of the congregations are invited on these occasions. Visitors and outside speakers are invited to join and enhance our worship.

Each whole school act of worship begins with children coming into the hall listening to music. The ‘special’ thinking candle is lit. The Lords Prayer is said regularly.

No worship programme can ever be purely pre-planned and there will always be a spontaneous moment or occasion when it is important spiritually to focus on the immediate so pupils are aware of how the spiritual dimension transcends all our experiences.

Worship Policy Version 8 Spring 2012