Worship Policy

Revision/Review History

Version Date Comments Review Date
11 Autumn 2017 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2019
10 Autumn 2015 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2017
9 Autumn 2014 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2015
8 Spring 2012 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2014
7 January 2010 Amended, approved and issued January 2012
6 April 2009 Approved and issued July 2010
5 November 2007 Approved, amended and issued July 2009
4 May 2007 Approved and issued May 2008
3 June 2006 Approved and issued June 2007
2 November 2005 Approved and issued June 2006
1 September 2005 First draft
  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.  Christian worship is concerned with bringing praise, prayer, thanksgiving and adoration to God.

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

The following link will take you to the current legislation:

We recognise the right of withdrawal from Worship for pupils at the request of parents/carers 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 Board.

  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)
  • affirm the Christian faith and the central Christian status as Jesus as the son of God
  • affirm the Christian faith in the Trinity and explore the meaning of each person of the Trinity
  • Explore Eucharistic workshop within the Anglican tradition (you need to explain how this is achieved e.g. taught Eucharist, observation of it taking part but receiving a blessing, taught in RE lessons etc.)
  • Enable pupils to reflect on the experiences of Christiaan adherents
  • Foster and value a search for a faith to live by
  • Explore the schools/academics Christian values to deepen pupils understanding of them and how they relate to the school/academy, local community and wider world
  • Learn about and reflect upon Christian teaching, Biblical material and Christian festivals, in a way that relates to the pupils’ experience and to living together in community
  • Worship together rather than apart
  • provide an evocative setting for worship that fosters spiritual growth and reflection
  • experience a broad spectrum of Christion tradition (various expressions of worship)
  • inspire pupils to explore further their own faith and tradition
  • encourage pupils and staff to plan, participate and lead in worship
  • develop a sense of community and shared values
  • consider the needs of others and foster charitable works
  • celebrate the highest achievements of the human spirit
  • celebrate achievement of members of the school in every aspect of school life
  • foster a thought provoking atmosphere allowing for spiritual reflection and response
  • make regular use of local church buildings for worship

Other opportunities that worship can offer are:

  • celebrate the beliefs and cultures of others particularly those represented in our school/academy
  • celebrate of achievements of members of the school/academies community reinforce school expectations, good behaviour and school/academies routines
  • share local school/academies and community information

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 Board has responsibility to ensure the Trust Deed of the school is honoured.  The worship policy articulates its management and delivery.  Parents/Carers 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.  In addition all teachers in a Church School are Spiritual Leaders and have a responsibility to help pupils to develop spiritual awareness.

The Worship Co-ordinator has responsibility for auditing and purchasing resources and ensuring development in the subject from the annual budget for worship.  Monitoring is an on going process involving foundation governors and is carried out regularly through teacher observation, pupil feedback on the quality of the school’s ethos.  Collective worship will be on the School Development Plan and Termly RAP.

Here at St John’s CE (A) Primary School this in section will evaluate the school/academies collective worship on the following:

  • The extent to which adults and learners engage with collective worship, it’s relevance and the way it makes a difference to the lives of members of the whole school community
  • The extent to which collective worship is distinctively Christian, setting out the values of the school in their Christian context
  • How well collective worship develops personal spirituality within the school community through a range of experiences, including a focus on prayer
  • How well collective worship enables participants to develop an understanding of Jesus Christ and a Christian understanding of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • How effectively the school community is involved in the planning, leadership and evaluation of collective worship
  1. Implementation – Current Practice

Collective Worship is organised 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:-

KS1/KS2 whole school worship lead by Headteacher or Deputy Head based on values and the theme for the week

class based worship

class based school worship

KS1 / KS2 assemblies

whole school worship celebrating achievements of the children but   is still regarded as an act of worship as prayers are included thanking God for pupil achievements and successes.

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

In addition:

  • There are school worship occasions at St John’s Church or in school at Christmas, Easter and at other times during the school year.
  • 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/Carers and Governors are invited to the Christingle Service, Eucharist’s, special events and class assembles. 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 quietly 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 11 Autumn 2017