Collective Worship

As a Church of England Voluntary Controlled school we define collective worship as worship that reflects the broad traditions of Christian belief.

We believe that collective worship should provide children with the opportunity to be part of a daily experience that is special and separate from other daily activities. We believe that collective worship has the potential to unite the school community. Collective worship is part of Cockfield School’s contribution to promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of every child.

Aims

It is our aim at Cockfield School that collective worship should:

  • Contribute to the spiritual, social, moral and cultural development of each child.
  • Give expression to, and reaffirm and practise the values of the school community
  • Allow reflection and response to the fundamental questions of life and
  • those things that are of eternal concern and value to human beings
  • Celebrate and give thanks for the achievements within the school, local and international community and occasions of significance, including
  • Foster and enable a concern for the needs of others, a recognition of the vulnerability of self and of others
  • Provide members of the school community with the opportunity to praise and reach out to God.
  • Provide members of the school community with the opportunity experience stillness and quiet
  • Provide members of the school community with the opportunity respond to Christian language and symbolism.
  • Provide members of the school community with the opportunity to experience a variety of forms of prayer and meditation. These might include praise, seeking forgiveness, asking on behalf of self and others or quiet reflection.
  • Helps students to begin to understand the nature and purpose of worship
  • Cockfield C. of E. V. C. P. School Collective Worship Policy provides a foundation for a mature understanding and practice of worship in the future.

Statutory Requirements

Collective worship at Cockfield Primary School complies with the legal requirements as set out in the 1988 Education Reform Act. The law states the ‘Collective worship must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian Character which means that it reflects the broad traditions of Christian belief ’. We recognise that collective worship needs to be flexible enough to encompass the age, aptitude and background of all the children in the school.

Collective Worship and Assembly

Collective worship and assembly are not the same thing but it is usual for an act of worship to take place during an assembly. An assembly is a gathering of part or all of he school. It is concerned with administrative matters and other announcements about school life, although in practice it is more than that. It is of the utmost importance that collective worship is seen to be distinct from those parts of the assembly that are concerned solely with administration.

Every assembly incorporates an act of worship which aims to be inclusive, curricular and educational where all pupils are capable of responding. Children participate in various ways such as the lighting of a candle, writing and reading prayers.

Implementation

A range of people are encouraged to lead collective worship including the children. All teaching staff take an active role in leading worship. Governors, faith community members and other community groups are encouraged to be involved when and where appropriate, either by occasional participation or by specific invitation including the Open the Book who visit monthly. The children take an active role on these occasions. Rev. Sharon from St Peter’s & St Pauls Church regularly leads collective worship in school and at Church. On occasions the local Congregational Church will lead collective worship.

There is a daily act of collective worship. The assembly on Friday is a celebration assembly to recognise the achievements of groups and individuals. It is followed by an act of worship with time for reflective prayers written by the children. During the course of each term, we invite families and friends to attend a class or whole school assembly to celebrate our learning.

The school follows the Values for Life scheme on a two year cycle. Values such as Trust, Compassion, Courage, Wisdom, Respect, Hope and Forgiveness are drawn out through biblical stories. The themes chosen are broad enough to allow all those leading worship to approach the theme from their own perspective. This enables pupils to have the opportunity to reflect on the theme from a variety of viewpoints. In addition class teachers may develop the theme as a result of events that occur in other areas of the curriculum. This pattern is flexible. At certain times teachers may feel that they need to respond to local or national events. A brief record is kept by staff to write comments on the act of worship they have been involved in. The Foundation governors and the Head teacher monitor Collective Worship at the school.

Withdrawal of Pupils from Collective Worship

We seek to be an inclusive community however we respect the right of parents to withdraw their children from Collective Worship but withdrawal will only be made following parental discussion with the Head teacher. This right of withdrawal doesn’t extend to assemblies. The Head teacher is not responsible for providing alternative worship but does ensure that children have adequate supervision. All teachers, including the Head teacher, have the right of withdrawal from the Act of Collective Worship, but the Head teacher, should he or she wish exercise this right, maintains statutory accountability for Acts of Collective Worship in the school.

Equal Opportunities and Special Needs

The staff and Governors are committed to ensuring that every child in the school will derive some benefit from collective worship, whatever their gender, ethnicity, physical or mental abilities. Every attempt is made, therefore, to ensure that materials used are appropriate to a range of abilities, aptitudes and interests and reflect the multicultural society we live in.