St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
Collective Worship Policy
Ratification by Governors
The Nature of Collective Worship
We believe that Christian worship in a Catholic school names and celebrates God’s presence in our lives. It is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action, to God’s invitation to enter into relationship with Him, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
We acknowledge the legal requirement that there must be a daily act of worship for all pupils. (This can take place at any time during the school day and can be either a single act of worship for all pupils, or separate acts of worship in school groups.) We understand that simply holding an assembly that includes a prayer, said either by the teacher or everyone present, does not fulfil this requirement. We also acknowledge that collective worship and assembly are distinct activities. They may sometimes form part of the same gathering, but the difference between the two will always be made clear.
The act of worship is not designated curriculum time under regulations and will not be subsumed under any part of the curriculum, including religious education.
As a rule, acts of worship will take place on the school premises. However, the governing body has the discretion to allow acts of worship to be held elsewhere e.g. church, “on a special occasion”.
In this school, as with any Voluntary Aided School, responsibility for arranging Collective Worship rests with the Governing Body after consultation with the headteacher.
The Place of Collective Worship in the Life of our School
We endorse the belief that Collective Worship takes into account the religious and educational needs of all who share in it:
- Those who form part of the worshipping community in church
- Those for whom school may be their first and only experience of church
- Those from other Christian traditions – or none
- Those from other faith backgrounds.
It will be an activity or experience to which all can contribute and from which all can gain.
Worship in this school is more than just a legal requirement. It is an integral part of school life and central to the Catholic tradition.
The Aims of Collective Worship
We believe that Collective Worship in our school aims to provide opportunity for all pupils and staff:
- To contemplate something of the mystery of God
- To reflect on spiritual and moral issues
- To explore their own beliefs
- To respond to and celebrate life
- To experience a sense of belonging and develop community spirit
- To develop a common ethos and shared values
- To enrich religious experience
- To grow in liturgical understanding and development
- To reinforce prayers which are part of the Catholic tradition
- To reinforce positive attitudes
- To participate fully
- To take time out ‘to wonder at’, ‘to come to terms with’ and ‘to give worth to.’
All Acts of Worship in this school will:
- Give glory and honour to God
- Be a quality activity, fundamental to the life of the school and its Catholic character
- Give children positive liturgical experiences, appropriate to their age, aptitude and family backgrounds in order to prepare them for the liturgical life of the Church. In order to do this, celebrations will:
- Be organised by the children in terms of Class Worship to help to personalise the experience;
- be appropriately timed and paced
- be simple, including a range of experiences offered in a variety of groupings and in a variety of settings.
Collective Worship in our School
Monday 3pm – KS2 – introducing the Weekly Question of Belief
Tuesday 9.10am - R/KS1 – focussing on the Weekly Question of Belief
Wednesday – Class based worship at least one of these will be child planned/led
Thursday – Class based worship
Friday – 2.50pm - Whole School Celebration Assembly with prayers
The Planning, Content and Delivery of Collective Worship
Collective Worship is planned:
- following a structure with reference to the Church’s seasons, significant dates and the curriculum
- Worship will always include – gathering, the Word, reflection/response, going forth - mission
- involving consultation with appropriate parties and reference to school aims and policies
- with flexibility to respond to changing situations within the school and the wider community
- to develop in pupils’ skills that enable them to prepare, organise and lead worship
Collective Worship is recorded:
- on a liturgy planner to keep note of themes, leaders, pupil groupings and resources in class
- through displays, collections of pupils’ contributions, prayers, reflections, photographs, videos etc.
Monitoring and Evaluation
At least once a year the school’s provision of worship will be evaluated to consider whether it meets the needs of all pupils and whether pupils are making progress in acquiring skills and abilities in organising and leading worship.
- class worship boxes
- resources in the Liturgy cupboard /drawers in the hall
- resources stored in the ‘garage’
- bibles outside Year 5
- range of bibles in classrooms
- God’s Story in the classrooms and library
- candles – in classes and in the Head’s office
- The Way the Truth the Life scheme of workbooks/teacher books
- Each child has access to a ‘Class Prayer Book’ in which they can record prayer petitions
- The staff have access to a Staff Prayer Book to record petitions
- Opportunities for voluntary worship take place at the different times of the year eg: October – rosary, lent, sacred heart etc...
Eucharistic celebrations in school will highlight a special occasion.
The same general principles will apply to planning a Eucharistic celebration as other acts of school worship, therefore opportunities for children to participate will be maximised.
Mass is held in school but we also endeavour to travel to church for Mass.
The school community, including the parish, are invited to our Masses and other special liturgies throughout the year.
We encourage our families to pray at home too and send out travelling worship bags at different times of the year with supporting materials to help them access this. We gather feedback from parents/carers in order to ensure we are supporting them in the right way.
The Co-ordinator for Collective Worship
A member of the SLT is the Leader of Collective Worship