Christian Distinctiveness and Worship
Collective Worship at the West Dartmoor Federation:
At the WDF our overall aim is to provide a safe, secure, positive and Christian learning environment where all members of the school feel valued and respected as individuals and learners.
Lady Modiford’s and Meavy Primary Schools are Church of England Schools and part of the St Christopher’s MAT. Worship is an important part of the school day giving the school community the opportunity to come together to reflect, and to talk and share ideas in a caring, nurturing environment. Pupils and staff attend Collective Worship, and visitors are very welcome to join in. Our aims are to promote Christian distinctiveness throughout school life using our school vision and values as a foundation.
Collective Worship is a shared activity, which allows those of any religious faith, or none, to focus and reflect. Collective Worship offers the opportunity to
explore, reflect upon and respond to the mystery and meaning of the Christian faith as individuals or through collective spirituality.
At the West Dartmoor Federation, we aim to
* To develop the children’s spiritual awareness and understanding.
* To reflect the school’s Christian ethos.
* To be appropriate and relevant to all ages, aptitudes and backgrounds of the pupils we cater for.
* To learn about Christian values through the teachings of Jesus and the Bible.
* To reflect some of the practices and traditions of the local church.
* To explore the school vision and values and to relate these to the children’s everyday lives.
* To encourage and develop a sense of personal, social and moral responsibility.
* To give the children opportunities to reflect, express and question their beliefs and views.
* To share and experience cultural differences.
* To provide time for stillness, quiet and reflection.
* To encourage a sense of awe and wonder.
* To share and celebrate each other’s achievements and to show appreciation for the God’s given gifts and talents of the school community.
* To celebrate special times in the Christian calendar.
* To promote British values.
Collective Worship is a special time in the school day. This is generally at the end of the school day, between 2:30pm and 2:55pm, when the whole school can join together to reflect on their day. Collective Worship takes place in a variety of settings, for example; in the school hall, in the local church and in the school grounds. All teaching staff lead Collective Worship. Collective Worship is enriched by a variety of visitors including the local clergy, a Methodist outreach worker and the Open The Book Team. On a Friday, Collective Worship enables the school community to gather to celebrate the children’s work from the week,
their outside achievements and to join together in prayer. The children also plan and lead Collective Worship once a half term through the ABC (Acting out the Bible Club).
Currently the Collective Worship is planned termly by the Collective Worship lead. The school vision and value for the half term are used as a foundation. The rota also includes special events in the Church calendar such as Harvest and Christmas, and events during the year such as Anti-bullying week or charity related events. This rota is flexible and on occasions it is recognised that teachers may feel that they need to respond to local, national or global events. Multicultural stories are also included.
*Collective Worship includes:
The Headteacher leading Collective Worship discussing our school vision and values.
* The Open The Book team retelling stories from the Bible.
* Father Andrew leading Collective Worship using the theme of our school vision and value for the half term.
* A member of the teaching staff leading Collective Worship, either exploring and discussing the Understanding Christianity Frieze, a Jigsaw (PSHE) assembly or the children’s discussing and reviewing of their values.
*Celebrating the children’s achievements over the past week.
Children are encouraged to take part in Collective Worship. This includes responding to questions, playing games and taking part in roleplay. Small groups of mixed aged children discuss and write prayers for the prayer tree each term. In Collective Worship the children are regularly invited to think of and say TSP Prayers, relating to their own lives and to local, national and international events. Families are invited to Collective Worship during the year including Harvest Festivals, Mother’s Day assemblies and Christingle and Carol Services.
Prayer or reflection is an important part of Collective Worship. The children are invited to join in with the prayers by saying ‘Amen’ at the end. If the children do not want to pray, they are asked to respect those who do and to have a time of
stillness and reflection. Prayers include those of teacher’s and children’s, written and impromptu, The Lord’s Prayer and Teaspoon Prayers.
The monitoring of the planning and provision of Collective Worship is to be carried out on a regular basis. The Foundation Governors have a key role in this process to ensure that the legal requirements are met and that the Worship offered to the pupils is of the highest quality. The Collective Worship Lead, Governors and the school ethos committee (children from all year groups) evaluate Collective Worship, in regards to the children’s attentiveness and involvement, and the meaning behind the worship and the children’s responses. Staff evaluate their own Collective Worship and this is reviewed by the Collective Worship Lead. The school ethos committee is also given the opportunity to voice their views on Collective Worship through pupil conferencing.