Collective Worship Policy
Countess Anne School
A Church of England Academy
Living God’s Love through:
- Academic provision that recognises the need for excellence in teaching and learning.
- Holistic provision that encourages Christian hope; building spirit and soul through faith orientated pastoral care.
- Inspirational provision through a modern curriculum that celebrates diversity and provides new opportunities.
Approval Date: 14th October
Date Adopted by GB: 22nd November 2021
Review Date: 10/2025
Person Responsible: Mr D Lodge
As a Church School, worship is an affirmation and celebration of our Christian ethos where adults and children have the opportunity to learn, worship and grow in their understanding of God and of themselves. It is therefore the ‘heartbeat’ of everything that we do and an expression of our school’s Christian vision and values.
We believe that we and our children are made in the image of God and that worship is a vital factor in this image becoming more real and meaningful. It should enable participants to develop an understanding of Jesus Christ and God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Legal Requirements
We seek to comply with the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (Section 70 and Schedule 20) which requires that:
- All registered pupils (apart from those whose parents exercise the right to withdrawal) must on each school day take part in an act of Collective Worship.
- The daily act of Collective Worship should be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Trust Deeds of the school and the ethos statement in the Instrument of Government and should be consistent with the beliefs and practices of the Church of England.
- All acts of Collective Worship in Church schools must be Christian in character.
Pupils can be grouped in various ways for worship such as the whole school, year groups, tutor groups, classes, or other combinations.
- Acts of worship must be appropriate for the pupils in that they should take account of the pupils’ age, aptitude and family backgrounds.
- The daily act of Collective Worship will normally take place on the school premises, but all schools are able to hold their Act of Collective Worship elsewhere (e.g. the local Parish Church) on special occasions.
- Responsibility for the arrangement of Collective Worship in a Church of England school rests with the Governing Body in consultation with the headteacher. Foundation Governors have a particular responsibility for ensuring that Collective Worship is inclusive, inspirational and invitational.
Aims and Purpose
Collective Worship in our school aims to give the whole school the opportunity to:
- Engage in an act of community
- Express praise and thanksgiving to God
- Reflect on the character of God and on the teachings of Christ through Biblical texts
- Affirm Christian values and attitudes
- Celebrate special times in the Christian calendar
- Experience and respond to Anglican traditions and practices
- Explore the big questions of life and respond to national events
- Foster respect and deepen spiritual awareness
- Be still and reflect
- Share each other’s joys and challenges
Anglican Faith and Practice
In order to provide acts of Collective Worship that reflect the faith and practice of the Church of England:
We use the Bible as a sourcebook for inspiration and learning and pupils become familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, the Grace, psalms and other verses of scripture. We also introduce them to a variety of well-known prayers – many of which express the central beliefs of Christians throughout the ages.
We use aspects of Anglican liturgy to create a framework for worship. We use Christian symbols as a focus for reflection and provide opportunities to discover the value of meditation and silence. We observe the cycle of the Anglican year including celebrations of the major Christian festivals.
As worship is a special part of our day, we provide a worship space which is attractive and well prepared with appropriate thought having been given to colour, space, seating, ambience and music.
We actively seek to develop church partnerships to enhance our provision for collective worship. This includes the local Anglican church and other Christian denominations. We view our schools as part of the global church and aim to provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate the diversity of Christianity.
Rights and Responsibilities
As established by the 1944 Act and reinforced through this policy, parents have the right to withdraw their children from Collective Worship. Should such a situation arise, appropriate arrangements would be made in keeping with the requirements of the Act.
Planning for Collective Worship is led by the Headteacher and Collective Worship Team, recognising the cycle of the Anglican year and reflecting our vision and values. The headteacher ensures that leaders and visiting speakers are aware of where the school is in its theme of worship. Individuals and groups are responsible for using the plans as a basis for developing their own short-term plans for individual acts of worship. This approach is inclusive of pupils, who have regular involvement in planning, leading and evaluating the impact of Collective Worship.
An act of Collective Worship is held daily. This may involve the whole school, class or key stage groups. Where collective worship forms part of an assembly, we ensure that there is a clear distinction between the two elements of gathering.
The headteacher and other members of staff together with groups of children take turns to conduct Collective Worship:
Weekly Collective Worship:
Monday: Collective Worship Yrs 2-6 (Early years Plus – class assembly) – led by class teachers
Tuesday: Awards assembly followed by Collective Worship – led by the Headteacher.
We invite parents to our Tuesday morning assemblies to see their children receive their awards. Governors are also welcome to attend acts of worship at any time.
We use Tuesday morning Awards’ Assemblies as an opportunity to share children’s work and to celebrate their successes. These culminate in an act of Collective Worship and play an important role in promoting the ethos of the school.
Wednesday: Music Assembly followed by collective prayer and reflection – led by the Deputy Headteacher
Thursday: Collective Worship - Team Ministry speaker – following the values of the school*. The school is joined by one of the local clergy; this time provides an opportunity to create a familiarity between the church and school which in turn promotes an open relationship.
Friday: Collective Worship (led by the Head teacher).
*Each value is covered within a half-term:
Autumn: Respect / Kindness Spring: Perseverance / Forgiveness Summer: Courage / Gratitude
We conduct Collective Worship in a dignified and respectful way expecting children to behave appropriately. We create a suitable atmosphere by using music, film, pictures or other artefacts to act as a focal point.
The above gives the opportunity for the school to define and explain the school values within a biblical context. On occasion Collective Worship will also respond to local, national or worldwide events. In addition to the above the whole school meets to celebrate the Eucharist once per term in the school and also celebrates termly church festivals within our local churches – within which the pupils take an active role through responsibilities, dance, readings, drama and song.
The budget for Collective Worship is distinct from the budget for Religious Education. There is a wide selection of assembly books and artefacts which we regularly update and improve. We have a collection of music which is used to provide suitable music as children enter and leave the hall as well as to accompany singing. Leaders of worship, including clergy, have access to regular training.
Contribution to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development
We recognise that although SMSC development should be fostered across the whole curriculum, acts of Collective Worship provide a multitude of opportunities in this area. For example, children will be encouraged to reflect on and celebrate the deeper meanings of life, consider their own behaviour and recognise the need for forgiveness, appreciate the contributions of others and respond to their needs, value their own culture and the cultures of others.
Monitoring and Evaluation
We monitor and evaluate the impact of our Collective Worship by maintaining records of the activity and surveying adults and children as to their views on its impact and expression of the school’s Christian vision. The Governors and others will routinely observe and monitor acts of Collective Worship. In conjunction with Foundation Governors, pupils will also evaluate the impact of Collective Worship on themselves and the wider school community.
We are committed to equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender, cultural background, ability or any physical or sensory disability. We therefore aim to make Collective Worship accessible to all and accommodate ourselves to individual needs when appropriate. As when teachers prepare lessons, worship leaders take account of different learning styles and aim to present materials using multi-sensory approaches.
Implementation of Policy
The Collective Worship Coordinator is responsible for this policy which will be reviewed by the Governing Body every three years. Its’ implementation is the responsibility of all those planning and leading Collective Worship.
This policy will be reviewed every three years.
Links to Other Policies:
- Religious Education Policy
- PSHE Policy
- school vision statement