Goodnestone Church of England Primary School
Collective Worship Policy
An Inclusive Learning Community, rooted in God.
Goodnestone is a place of learning where all are nurtured and supported. Goodnestone has high expectations of all, so they fulfil their God given aspirations within and outside our small school community. Following the example of Jesus, we include all by showing friendship to each other, valuing their unique contribution.
Our collective worship policy strengthens and supports the Christian identity of our school, reaffirms our values of Goodnestone Church of England Primary School and celebrates the central role that each child plays in their community. Our worship reflects the variety of traditions found in the Church of England, and will recognise and follow the Christian liturgical year. The daily Christian act of worship is central to our ethos and is supported by all staff and governors. It makes an important contribution to the overall spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the whole school community.
Collective worship at Goodnestone Church of England Primary School will support the school’s distinctive vision and Mission Statement, by providing opportunities for members of the school community:
- to consider spiritual and moral issues and, through reflection, raise awareness of the ultimate questions of life,
- to reflect on their own beliefs,
- to develop an enquiring mind and express and explore their own views openly and honestly,
- to encounter God in Jesus Christ,
- to reflect in ways that are of a broadly Anglican Christian tradition, whilst recognising the validity and importance of other Christian denominations, religions, belief systems and other world views,
- to nurture a community spirit, a common ethos and shared values,
- to foster an awareness of the world around them and a sense of their place within it,
- to take responsibility for their own conduct, charitable giving, and social actions so that they might contribute positively to a multi-diverse society,
- to develop a sense of sharing and belonging through different groups of students coming together,
- to experience silence in a busy world,
- to encourage inquisitive engagement with, and reflection on, the teachings of the Holy Bible.
The Anglican Christian Tradition
The following are shared as Christian elements of collective worship:
- Exploring the Christian understanding of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- Using the Bible for inspiration, stories and guidance
- Observing the cycle of the Church’s Year – Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Saints Days amongst ordinary days
- Learning and saying prayers from a number of sources, in particular the Lord’s Prayer and the blessings in common use
- Singing a wide variety of hymns and songs from traditional to modern
- Experiencing Christian symbols in worship and reflecting on their meaning
- The use of prayer, silence and reflection
- Using Psalms with simple responses – Taizé style
We may also use elements which are more distinctively Anglican:
- Using prayers from Common Worship
- Using Anglican sentences and responses at the beginning and end of worship
- Using Collects as a focus for worship
Collective worship is a legal requirement. In accordance with the Education Reform Act 1988, each school must provide a broadly Christian act of collective worship for all pupils every day. This act of worship can take place at any time of the school day and in any regular school grouping e.g. whole school, key stage or class.
Collective worship is planned by staff, pupils, the incumbent of our local church and external visitors in consultation with the Collective Worship Leader. Our school plans systematically and cohesively using The New Canterbury Diocese Collective Worship Planning which is adapted and changed to meet the needs of our community. This ensures there is a shared understanding of the long and short term planning of worship and enables continuity. Visitors to our school are asked to read and comply with our school visitor and safeguarding policies: This includes discussing the content of any worship with a member of the senior leadership in order to ascertain its suitability for the school community. Visitors are never left alone with children as the supervision of pupils remains the responsibility of school staff.
We are mindful of the variation in personal spiritual styles and provide a range of creative opportunities including (e.g. music, silence, symbolism, drama, use of IT).
Our worship consists of 4 stages:
- Gather (We welcome the community with music, liturgy and the lighting of a candle)
- Engage (We share a bible reading, followed by an activity to engage pupils with the Christian message)
- Respond (Pupils discuss, share, reflect, pray or sing)
- Send (We share the message of the worship again and ask pupils to think about how they will affect their day / learning/ behaviour. We close with liturgy, final prayer, music and the blowing out of our special candle (turn off).)
We are developing the pupils’ participation in collective worship. We are working to help them to plan and lead worship on a voluntary basis.
The school allocates part of its budget to support the daily act of collect worship. The Christian distinctiveness Leader attends regular professional development with Canterbury Diocese and accesses a wide range of resources to ensure that worship is both inspiring and engaging.
Self-assessment and Inspection
Our school regularly evaluates our acts of collective worship and the impact it has on the school and its wider community. This involves monitoring by school leaders, staff, pupils and governors in order to grow and develop. We also welcome the contributions of parents and pupils. These are shared with our monitoring pair and reported back to the Full Governing Body and play and integral part in developing the spiritual growth of the school.
Worship is independently inspected by law under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005 in consultation with the Diocese of Canterbury.
Worship is regarded as special time which wholly reflects our ethos as a church school. It is an inclusive opportunity for those of all faiths and none and is in no way intended to evangelise or proselytise.
We respect the right of parents to withdraw their child/children from acts of collective worship on grounds of conscience. However, as collective worship is central to our ethos. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this decision with parents.
We recognise that all pupils are equal regardless of cultural or ethnic background, religion, social circumstances, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability. The curriculum and whole ethos of the school demonstrates that diversity is understood, is welcomed and appreciated within the school. Equal opportunities means that all children have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum with which all pupils can engage and achieve.