Collective Worship is an essential part of life at Hurst Knoll St. James’. It is an activity or experience where those involved can take something from this special time. In our school, Collective Worship respects and values the diversity of beliefs and culture within our school community but is Christian in nature reflecting the traditions of the church with prayer and song being essential components of our time together.
Intent of Collective Worship
The aim of Collective Worship is to provide opportunities to develop the liturgical understanding of the children whilst also developing them spiritually. Within all acts of worship, children are encouraged to participate by answering questions, sharing their views, helping to lead worship and by utilising the time that Collective Worship provides to reflect on what they have heard and join in with prayers / songs etc.
Implementation of Collective Worship
At Hurst Knoll St. James’, Collective Worship has many forms with opportunities taken for formal and informal worship wherever it is possible to do so. Prayer is an important part of this with a prayer said at the start and end of each day as well as at lunchtime in each class. The Collective Worship cycle in a ‘typical’ week follows the pattern below:
- Monday – Whole school Collective Worship where the value / theme for the week is discussed.
- Tuesday – Reflective worship in class. Children are provided with an activity / prompt that follows on from Monday’s whole school worship. Examples of the children’s responses are kept in the ‘Collective Worship Book’ held by the Headteacher.
- Thursday – Whole school singing.
- Friday – Whole school 'Celebration Assembly' where weekly certificates are shared. We invite and welcome parents and family members to this assembly.
At the start of our Monday and Friday assemblies, our school beliefs, that reflect our core school values, are shared. This wording can be seen below:
‘Each day we Hope for better,
We seek and give Forgiveness,
We seek to build and gain Trust,
We show Kindness to all people,
Justice for all is what we believe in.
Our Monday assembly, where the value / theme for the week is discussed, follows the pattern outlined below:
- Children enter assembly quietly as music / a video prompt is shown.
- The school beliefs are said collectively.
- The theme for the assembly is shared followed by the main teaching. A bible passage to support the session is shared and discussed.
- Children are given time to reflect on what has been said.
- A prayer, often written by the Worship VIPs from Year 6, is shared.
- As the children leave the assembly, an appropriate song will be sung.
Wherever possible, we invite and welcome visitors to school to lead or enhance our worship. Parents and family members are invited to join us for our weekly Friday assembly and for other special assemblies throughout the school year.
Regular evaluations – formal and informal – are completed to review the effectiveness of Collective Worship to ensure that it is effective and open to all.
Impact of Collective Worship
The impact of Collective Worship is often not seen until hours, days or weeks after the session has taken place. To gain an ‘immediate’ response to what the children have heard, and their understanding of it, the reflection session completed in class – usually the day after assembly - gives the children the chance to discuss what they have heard and share their understanding of it. A collection of responses from each class is collected weekly and displayed in the Collective Worship Book that is coordinated by the Headteacher.