“As a Christian School our aim is to value each pupil as an individual and ensure that they reach their full potential reflecting the principles of the Christian faith by which St. George lived his life – Respect, Honesty, Courage, Kindness, Forgiveness and Hope.”
At St George’s (VC) Church of England Primary School our acts of school worship are a very important part of our lives. They take place in line with the beliefs and practices of the Church of England. As a church school, we know that God is at the centre of all that is best.
Our school worship is a daily act of worship that draws the whole school together in a common purpose. It provides an opportunity to worship God through reflection and celebration and to contribute to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils, as appropriate to their ages and aptitudes.
- It helps pupils’ Spiritual development by teaching them about God and giving them the opportunity to worship him together. It encourages silent reflection, helping children to recognise the spiritual dimension of life.
- It helps pupils’ Moral development through teaching of common Christian values and teaching respect for other faiths.
- It promotes pupils’ Social development by helping them to feel part of a community, and will reinforce positive attitudes. Our children are helped to share their own experiences so that they see the value of sharing with others in the school community.
- It helps pupils’ Cultural development by providing opportunities for the children to experience and respond to appropriate music, the Bible, religious festivals and practices.
At St George’s collective worship is a special occasion, held in the school hall, with the themes for collective worship allowing for a mixed age group to participate in a meaningful and relevant way at different levels of understanding. Collective worship is seen as part of the life of the wider Christian community.
THE SETTING FOR COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
Care is taken to make the setting for our worship special for the occasion. A cross and a candle, which is lit at the beginning of the act of worship, are visible to all the children. Appropriate music is played as the children enter and leave the hall.
A display board shows the themes, prayers and music for the week and there is a prayer net where children can add their own prayers. All acts of worship are recorded in a Worship File and commented/evaluated upon by the pupils.
The sense of special occasion is created by the attitude of the person(s) leading the worship and the participants joining together for a specific purpose.
- The leader is well prepared with resources, such as visual aids and CD’s. Songs and hymns are carefully chosen to complement the theme of the assembly.
- Children enter the special place in a quiet and calm manner, expecting quality time. Music accompanies the processing in and out of assembly.
- Adult members of each class and children in school (unless withdrawn) will attend the Act of Worship.
In compliance with the law we provide an act of school worship daily for all pupils.
|KS2||10.15||School Hall||KS2 Staff|
|Whole School||10.15||School Hall||Mr. D Jones & all staff|
|KS1||09:10||School Hall||KS1 Staff|
|KS2||10.15||School Hall||KS2 Staff|
|Celebration/Awards Assembly||10.15||School Hall||Mrs. Rye & all staff|
CONTENT OF WORSHIP
As a Church of England school, the content of our worship is organised to:
- Fundamentally Anglican in nature covering the major Christian Festivals (i.e. including Christmas, Easter and Pentecost).
- Draw on frequent Bible teaching, particularly as stories.
- Use the Lord’s Prayer at least once a week.
- Use the school prayer at least once a week.
- Be delivered in a variety of ways. (These will usually include music and songs, story and discussion, drama acting out stories and a time for prayer and reflection).
- Blessing will be only be given by the Reverend or equivalent.
- St George’s Church encourages young children to participate in the Eucharist services. This may only include the Reverend teaching our pupils about the Eucharist during acts of collective worship.
- Year 5/6 children witness, or participate in the Eucharist at Rochester Cathedral when they have been confirmed, and participate in the service
THEMES FOR COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
Long term plans include a three year cycle of themes based upon the Rochester Diocese Board Education (RDBE) Collective Worship cycle. These themes are revisited during a child’s time at school but different resources are often used for the same theme and his/her level of understanding will have changed.
The themes for collective worship include the old attainment targets in RE of Prayer, Pilgrimage, Church scripture, Sacrament and Worship.
Short term plans for each half term allow different members of staff taking collective worship to build on the chosen theme without unnecessary repetition. Overall planning is done by the Reverend/Headteacher but flexibility is the key to meaningful acts of worship being taken by different members of staff.
Children take an active part in collective worship on regular basis, leading with Bible stories and prayers.
The material used in collective worship might draw upon prayers, readings from scripture and other material with a spiritual and moral dimension, together with contributions from those leading collective worship.
SPECIAL SERVICES AND CHURCH LINKS
The school values both its special links with the Reverend Edward Wright and Parish of St George’s and its church. The Reverend leads a weekly act of worship in the school and the children and staff attends a family service once a month in the church with parents invited. The children celebrate the major festivals of Harvest, Christmas and Easter in the church, with parents and Governors welcome to attend.
We also visit the church during RE lessons to develop our understanding about the specialness of the building and the community. KS1 attend workshops arranged by the RE Co-ordinator and the Reverend. The Reverend and members of the community are asked to speak, in school, on specific themes, sometimes related to charitable organisations.
INCLUSION AND WITHDRAWAL
As a Church school, worship plays a central part in our school life and is important educationally for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Parents have the right to choose whether or not to withdraw their child from RE without influence from the school, although a school should ensure parents or carers are informed of this right and are aware of the educational objectives and content of the RE syllabus. In this way, parents can make an informed decision. Where parents have requested that their child is withdrawn, their right must be respected, and where RE is integrated in the curriculum, the Headteacher/Class Teacher/RE Co-ordinator will need to discuss the arrangements with the parents or carers to explore how the child’s withdrawal can be best accommodated. If pupils are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or to incur extra cost. Pupils will usually remain on school premises.
Where a pupil has been withdrawn, the law provides for alternative arrangements to be made for RE of the kind the parent wants the pupil to receive (Section 71(3) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998).
This RE could be provided at the school in question, or the pupil could be sent to another school where suitable RE is provided if this is reasonably convenient. If neither approach is practicable, outside arrangements can be made to provide the pupil with the kind of RE that the parent wants, and the pupil may be withdrawn from school for a reasonable period of time to allow them to attend this external RE.
Outside arrangements for RE are allowed as long as the LA is satisfied that any interference with the pupil’s attendance at school resulting from the withdrawal will affect only the start or end of a school session.
The staff who lead collective worship: plan, participate in the collective worship of others and discuss the quality and relevance of different acts of worship at staff meetings. One factor that is carefully remembered is the means by which the reception children are involved in collective worship and visual aids are considered essential.
Governors occasionally attend collective worship within the school and services at St George’s Church. The collective worship committee meets once a term to discuss collective worship and other related issues. At present the group consists of the Reverend, head teacher, Chair of governors and RE co-ordinator. A written report is given at the termly meeting of the full Governing Body.
This policy was agreed, signed and ratified by the Governors on: June 2016
Next review: June 2017
RE Subject Co-ordinator: Annette Holmes