Home - St Meriadoc CE Infant Academy

Our Vision - God Believes, We Believe, I Believe!

Lived out through Collective Worship

St Meriadoc CE Infant Academy

Approach to Collective Worship

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Living out our vision through Collective Worship

Collective Worship in our school is a highly valued time which is a specially set apart time in the school day. The whole school community gather together in a time that is honouring and worthy to God. The planning of our Collective Worship ensures that the school community has the opportunity to arrive for worship prepared with the right attitude, engage with their own spirituality and learn from Biblical teachings and leave feeling refreshed and inspired. Our Collective Worship is timetabled to be at the end of the school day, so all who worship with us can go out into the world fuelled by the love of God and teachings of Jesus and sharing that love by valuing all of God’s children.

Our school mission (what we do today) ‘Through enjoyable, memorable learning, supported by faith, core Christian Values and high expectations we can aspire to make educated choices in order to live a rich and fulfilled life is lived daily in Collective Worship. Our vision (what we aspire for our children tomorrow) - ‘God Believes, We Believe, I Believe endeavours for collective worship, to be the ‘heartbeat’ of the school signalling the life, energy and Christian spirit of the school.  

As a school we focus on five Christian Values, which are introduced and explored during the year. Each value is introduced half termly an sis the focus of Collective Worship. Each value, has a linked parable, a miracle of Jesus and a core Bible story to explore the value at a more age appropriate level. Each value also has a linked character with a story. For example, Rufus the Rhino is not very respectful and through the story learns the importance of how to be respectful. Each class has cuddly toy versions of these characters to use practically when exploring and referring to our core Christian values. When children show an exceptional act of one of these values or repeatedly display one of these values, they are awarded a Christian Values badge. Once they have achieved all of the Christian Values badges they invited to become part of the Worship Team, to be a role model, exemplifying our Christian Values to others.

Worship can be an energetic praising time, but can also be a time to breathe; a time when all who come together can find a space in stillness and quietness to reflect on their own spirituality, values and place in the world. Just as breathing is vital to survival, worship is a significant and sacred time in school; ensuring the valued time allows all to ‘breathe’ through our collective worship.

Collective Worship gives the school community the opportunity to:

  • Engage in an act of community, with the community involved in the planning, leading and evaluation of collective worship to improve and develop practice.
  • Express praise and thanksgiving to God together.
  • 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, appreciating that Christians worship in different ways.
  • Explore the big questions of life and respond to national events, appreciating the relevance of faith in today’s world.
  • Foster respect and deepen spiritual awareness through experience of prayer, stillness, worship and reflection.
  • Share each other’s joys and challenges through valuing all God’s children.

Our whole school community involves all pupils as well as staff, unless pupils have been withdrawn by parents/carers or unless staff members have exercised their right to withdraw from acts of worship. It can also include church visitors and members of the clergy, parents and carers, visitors and members of the local community.

Expectations for Collective Worship at St Meriadoc CE Infant Academy:

  • All collective worship echoes our vision ‘God Believes, We Believe, I Believe!
  • All Collective Worship is ‘Inclusive, Invitational and Inspiring’.
  • There must be an act of collective worship every day, where every child in the school is invited to attend. This could be whole school or in class.
  • All teaching is Christian, following the teachings of the Bible. These will be explored and made relevant to everyday life.
  • All acts of worship must be linked to the half termly Christian value.
  • The leader of the worship will create a welcoming and invitational atmosphere on arrival to engage the children to be conducive to worship. This could be showing an image linked to the theme or value to promote discussion and questions.
  • The hall must always have an ‘alter table’ as the focus for worship. The alter must be dressed in the correct colour liturgical cloth and display a cross and a candle. The Christian calendar, marking where we are in the Christian year, should indicate the correct point. The world map, which is annotated after class worship to mark Christian values and rights across the globe, should be kept up to date. A Values Tree, linked to our half termly focus, will be decorated by every child in the school marking the importance of that value to them spiritually.
  • The leader will light the candle saying, ‘We light this candle,’ and the children will respond, ‘to invite us to worship.’ The leader then leads with the Anglican liturgical greeting, ‘The Lord be with you…’, with the children responding ‘and also with you.’ Children also sign the greeting.
  • The children should be involved in the worship. This can be planned or spontaneous. Children are encouraged to be free and be creative within the worship experience.
  • Children should be given time to share ideas in talk partners. Ensure the visual and phrase, ‘What would Jesus Do?’ is used where appropriate. This could be when discussing dilemmas or challenges. Encourage the children to draw on their knowledge of previously learnt biblical teachings.
  • Sung worship should be included in the collective worship timetable.
  • Opportunities for stillness, silence and reflective prayer should be offered to think about the key thoughts and the Bible message.
  • Children must be given the opportunity to pray in every collective worship. Children should also lead the prayer often. Prayer sentence stems starter are available to the children use in every collective worship.
  • All worship should end with a thought or a question for children to ponder, to encourage them to act following the worship session.
  • The candle should be extinguished with the leader saying, ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord…’ and the children responding ‘In the name of Christ. Amen.’
  • Collective Worship will be monitored by the RE Lead, Head of School and Collective Worship Governor termly.

How Collective Worship is Invitational, Inclusive and Inspiring at St Meriadoc CE Infant Academy:

Invitational

Inclusive

Inspiring

All children are invited to worship through the lighting of the candle.

Leader: We light this candle…

Response: To invite us to worship.

The whole school community gathers together for collective worship four days a week. Collective worship as a class is once a week.

Collective worship is held at the end of the school day, inspiring children to go out into the world and take action.

During prayers, children are invited to end the prayer by saying Amen, to make the prayer their own.

The local church community are included in our worship and Christian celebrations in school.

Collective worship is based around a half termly value. This continues through the environment of the school. Through prayer spaces, parable and values displays and pop up stimuli images added around the school. These could be images of hearts to remind the children of the value of love and encourage them to think about how they can show love day to day.

Children are invited to lead the prayers during collective worship.

Each half term, one class will lead the collective worship for the rest of the school community.

Inspirational stories of Christians who have made a difference in the real world are included in the planning of Collective worship.

During reflection time and moments of stillness, children are invited to close their eyes and be calm to think.

The Worship Team support the church visitors and staff in the planning and delivery of worship.

Each half term a Christian Values hand out is given to the children to take home, shared on social media, shared with the local church and published in the parish magazine. The handout includes invitational questions to talk about the value, opportunity to share the linked parable, quotes from inspirational Christians, a homework task to engage in and a prayer to share.

During Open the Book, children are invited to help lead parts of the worship.

Worship, supported by British Sign Language, is held fortnightly, with children learning sign through their worship.

During Collective Worship we use a ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ poster when discussing dilemmas or big questions to challenge, engage the children to think and be inspired by the teachings of Jesus.

Children are introduced to the values characters through their stories, linked parables, miracles of Jesus and Core Bible stories. We invited our local priest to support the planning and decision making of the linked biblical texts. Children are encouraged to reflect these values through their behaviour and conduct choices and are awarded values badges when they exemplify these. Children who have chosen to collect the values badges become part of the Worship Team. The Worship Team contributes to delivering worship throughout the year. Children who are part of The Worship Team become role models to others and naturally through their actions encourage others to live through the teachings of Jesus.

The content of collective worship is considered carefully to ensure all children receive their right to engage in worship that is appropriate to them. The length of worship takes into account the age of the children, sensory needs and need for prompts to ensure understanding and ability to engage in the worship.

Worship is held in a variety of venues: The school hall, classrooms, church, prayer on school trips and outside. An outdoor church is a planned development for the Forest school area of our adventure playground.

Children are invited to sung worship through appropriate song and prayer choices, which are also often signed.

During in class worship, children watch an episode of Newsround or Espresso news and discuss global events, linking in the rights of children, Christian Values and what the teachings of Jesus would advise them to do.

Worship follows four clear parts: To gather, to engage, to respond and to send out. This is to inspire and set the purpose for each element of worship.

Each half term the school is invited to the local church for Collective Worship alongside the Junior School. Parents and governors are also invited to attend as part of the school community.

We discuss how Christians celebrate around the world, exploring their similar and different styles of worship as well as being respectful of other faith traditions, festivals and holidays marking these events and noting that God loves us all. We also mark how our Christian Values are linked to British values and the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The Worship Team deliver collective worship once a half term. To become part of the worship team, children need to have achieved all 5 Christian values badges. Children aspire to become part of the team to inspire others.

The school is invited to support and lead part of the worship in our local church on Christian holidays such as Harvest, Remembrance and Mothering Sunday.

A range of styles is planned into the timetable to ensure all are able to access ad engage in the worship.

Styles such as, artwork stimuli, music, multimedia, drama, prayer and stillness, story, sung and reflection time.

Worship is delivered in a range of styles to keep worship fresh and innovative for the children.

Year 2 Leavers are invited for a Leaver’s service in the local church. Parents, governors, local church community attend.

Prayer sentence stem starters are available to children to support them in leading prayers.

Inspirational speakers are invited to support worship. These could be from the local church community, parents/carers of children etc.

Each half term a Christian Values hand out is given to the children to take home, shared on social media, shared with the local church and in the parish magazine. The handout includes invitational questions to talk about the value, opportunity to share the linked parable, quotes from inspirational Christians, a homework task and a prayer to share.

Each class keeps a scrap book, which children can use for post reflection.

Our Courageous Advocacy focus of Helping the Hungry was suggested and decided upon by the children. This closely links the needs of our immediate community and the fact that this came from our own children in itself was thoroughly inspirational.


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