Daily collective worship is considered an integral and essential part of St Paul’s whole school ethos and curriculum. It is to be broadly Church of England in nature and inclusive of all pupils. It is a time when the school community can express itself and develop spiritually both as a group and individually. It is intentionally a learning experience and is set in an educational context.
This promotes a sense of unity and community for the school as a whole as well as promoting spiritual, moral, social and cultural development including British values. Assemblies should:
1. Provide pupils with the knowledge and insight into values and beliefs that enable them to reflect on their experiences in a way that develops their spiritual awareness and self-knowledge, (spiritual)
2. Teach the principles which distinguish right from wrong, (moral)
3. Encourage pupils to relate positively to others, take responsibility, participate fully in the community and develop an understanding of citizenship, (social)
4. Teach pupils to appreciate their own cultural traditions and the diversity and richness of other cultures. (cultural)
At St Paul’s, all acts of collective worship are based on the principles that they should be:- inclusive, educational and spiritual.
Inclusive- They should:
1. be pupil-centred, related to pupils own experience and relevant to pupils’ concerns,
2. acknowledge diversity,
3. involve pupils as active participants,
4. meet the needs of the pupils,
5. foster a sense of community.
1. be learning experiences,
2. be well-planned,
3. relate to other curriculum activities,
4. provide the school with opportunities to reflect on the education it provides,
5. celebrate educational achievements,
6. be consistent with the aims and values of the school.
Spiritual- They should:
1. provide a time to be still, pray and reflect,
2. be a special time- conducive to worship,
3. enable children to feel calm, relaxed and secure,
4. include a variety of words, music and images,
5. provide an opportunity for children to participate in collective worship,
6. reflect Christian values.
4. Aims of Collective Worship
a) To provide an opportunity for an experience of worship.
b) To provide opportunities for children to reflect on the values of the school community and the community it serves.
c) To deepen and widen children’s emotional responses.
d) To enable children to gain insights into ways in which people express themselves within their faith commitments and to be sensitive to those different responses.
e) To develop a sense of:
• awe and wonder
• interdependence with the natural world,
• pattern, sequence and order,
• self-worth and value of others.
f) To develop an awareness that:
• life involves choices of belief, attitude, behaviour and relationships,
• there are issues of meaning, purpose and value in life.
The Collective Worship Co-ordinator plans half-termly themes, in consultation with the Headteacher, for the whole school throughout the year. Planning of these themes is resourced from Values for Life, which is published by Jumping Fish. Six values are chosen in each academic year. Detailed plans are provided for each week’s collective worship as well as suggestions for developing work on values in other areas.
All pupils have the opportunity to participate in a daily act of collective worship. They gather for collective worship in various groupings: by whole school, key stages or in class groupings. The Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or teachers lead the act of worship as appropriate.
St Paul’s School works closely with its link church on Hills Road:
• The vicar, Rev. Michael Beckett, leads a weekly assembly.
• The children lead various church services throughout the year.
Music is played as the children enter and leave the hall. It is usually classical and is drawn from various cultures. The children sing songs in assembly which are connected to the half-termly themes. Music and songs are chosen by the Music Co-ordinator and show the wide range of religious and secular celebration and praise. A prayer is said at the end of every assembly. The children are encouraged to say Amen, if they agree with the prayer.
6. Pupils Withdrawal from Collective Worship
Any pupil may be withdrawn from school worship by the parent. No reason for withdrawal needs to be given. When a child is withdrawn, the class teacher should provide a valuable alternative activity.
The child should always be at school during the time of collective worship. Every effort should be made to try not to make the child feel isolated and different.
7. Visiting speakers and groups
Pupils can gain a great deal from representatives of various religions, charity and cultural agencies, parents, artists and other professional business people participating in acts of worship. All who lead worship should have the opportunity to read the schools’ act of worship policy and be fully briefed by the co-ordinator responsible for the collective worship. Every assembly should be under the control of a member of the teaching staff.
All teachers and visitors who lead acts of worship should appreciate that, while it is not always possible to avoid controversial issues, acts of worship should never be an occasion for promoting a particular set of beliefs. Visitors should also be aware that permission should be gained from the school for distribution of literature, raising money or giving invitations to attend out-of-school activities.