POLICY. Abbey Academies Trust. Every Child Matters. For. Collective Worship. Amended

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1 Abbey Academies Trust Every Child Matters POLICY For Collective Worship Amended September 2004 September 2013 September 2007 September 2010 Every Child Matters within a loving and caring Christian environment 1

2 Collective Worship Some time for thinking, Some time for sharing, Some time for listening, Some time for stillness, silence and prayer. Collective Worship in schools should aim to provide the opportunity for pupils to worship God, to consider their own beliefs; to encourage participation and response, whether through active worship or through listening to and joining in the worship offered; and to develop community spirit, promote ethos and shared values, and reinforce positive attitudes. DfEE Circular 1/94 para 50 As a RRS (Rights Respecting School UNICEF) this policy upholds the following articles from the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child): Article 2: Everyone has equal rights whatever their race, religion, ability, whatever they think or say or whatever their family. Article 14: Every child has the right to follow their own religion. Article 29: Every child has the right to be the best they can. 2

3 Legal Requirements of Collective Worship The 1988 Education Reform Act requires that all pupils in attendance at a maintained school shall on each day take part in an act of Collective Worship. The Governing Body in consultation with the Executive Headteacher is responsible for the arranging of daily Collective Worship appropriate for, and to include, all children in the school. At our academy we seek to be an inclusive community however we respect the right of parents to withdraw their children for Collective Worship. The academyl has a suitable system of supervision for students withdrawn from Acts of Collective Worship. However, no additional work is set or followed in this time. Teachers have the right to withdraw but may be required to have a supervisory role in the act of worship. Worship may take place at any time during the school day. There may be a single act of worship for all pupils or separate acts of worship for pupils in different age groups or in different school groups. Acts of Worship at the academy take into account the pupils ages, aptitudes and family backgrounds. Arrangements for collective worship should take account of and be applicable to pupils ages and aptitudes and the circumstances relating to family background. What is Worship? At our academy we believe that worship is: a response to things of worth a recognition of and response to the spiritual dimensions of human experience a celebration of love for God by believers an expression of praise and gratitude, of awe and wonder, and of love and compassion an invitation to participate or observe Worship can be achieved through a variety of media including music and hymns, words and scriptures, ritual, movement and drama, and stillness and reflection. 3

4 Aims Through the acts of worship we aim to: Contribute to the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of each child Support the social and emotional aspects of pupils learning Help children to begin to understand the nature and purpose of worship Give expression to, and reaffirm and practise the values of the school Allow reflection and response to the fundamental questions of life and those things that are of eternal concern and value to human beings Provide a foundation for a mature understanding and practice of worship in the future Provide members of the school community with the opportunity to experience silence, stillness, reflection and prayer Enable adults and children to worship together Promote community cohesion Celebrate and give thanks for the achievements within the school, local and international community and occasions of significance, including festivals Foster and enable a concern for the needs of others, a recognition of the vulnerability of self and of others What is broadly Christian? Acts of worship must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian nature. Our understanding of Broadly Christian is that through our acts of worship children should come to a greater understanding of those principles, values and characteristics displayed by Jesus throughout his life, in his ministry and teaching and by His own example. These will include: compassion faith trust conviction mercy individual and corporate responsibility self-discipline co-operation integrity self-sacrifice forgiveness humility self knowledge tolerance perseverance respect honesty concern understanding 4

5 These principles, values and characteristics are embodies in the New Testament that Jesus gave us:. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples. John 13:34-35 RE, Assembly and Worship We feel it is important that the relationship between RE, Assembly and Worship is understood by teachers, pupil and parents. They are distinctive activities which all contribute to a broad and balanced curriculum, they should endorse one another, and are all intentional learning activities within the curriculum and therefore important in the planning process. When planning these activities teachers take a range of learning styles into account to create opportunities that are accessible by all children. RE is about developing knowledge and understanding, concepts, skills and attitudes in order to make decisions about fundamental questions. It involves both learning about religion and learning from religion. We believe that a classroom context is more appropriate for effective RE to take place. Assembly is an occasion when pupils are gathered together in a larger group, usually with some formality. One of its many purposes is to strengthen the sense of the school as a community with shared ethos, values and aims. Worship can take place within an assembly and can be seen as one element or dimension. But an act of worship is far more than just a coming together of the school; it should fulfil the definition of worship as described in this policy. An assembly does not have to include an act of worship nor does an act of worship have to take place in an assembly. Assembly provides the situation for exploring ritual and ceremonial aspects of worship and opportunities for starting points and end points involving all areas of the curriculum. Themes that are introduced in an act of worship may be further developed in RE, lessons or in other areas of the curriculum, and so help the child to interpret the experience of school worship. The contribution of worship to spiritual, social, moral and cultural Development Spiritual Development relates to that aspect of inner life through which pupils acquire insights into their personal existence which are of enduring worth. Social Development refers to pupils progressive acquisition of the competences and qualities needed to play a full part in society. It is concerned with the skills and personal qualities for individuals to live and function effectively in society. Moral Development refers to pupils knowledge, understanding, intentions, attitudes and behaviour in relation to what is right or wrong. Cultural Development refers to pupils increasing understanding and command of those beliefs, values, customs, knowledge and skills which, taken together, form the basis of identity and cohesion in societies and groups. 5

6 We believe that the whole school ethos and programme of learning contributes to this development.. Through our acts of worship a very significant contribution can be made to the development of these areas for all our children for the reasons stated earlier in this document. Reasons such as, that worship provides opportunities for the children to: gain a sense of self-knowledge, vision or inspiration; a sense of awe and wonder appreciate the values and attitudes upheld by the community be encouraged to keep/maintain/develop a quest for truth and meaning observe and encounter varieties of expressions of belief and commitment Organisation Collective worship takes place on every school day, but the time of day varies, as does its organisation. Collective worship may be taken as a whole school, in Key Stages or in individual classes. Children will be prepared for the acts of worship by entering the hall or classroom in a dignified silence, sitting quietly and listening to music, prior to the start of the worship. Children will also leave in a dignified silence (if this is appropriate given that the children do sometimes leave singing), in order that they might have time to reflect on what they have seen, done and heard. The lighting of a candle to focus the children s attention and to encourage quiet and reflection may take place. Following the talk by the leader of the act of worship the children may be invited to take part in a period of spiritual reflection and finally a prayer. There will be times when prayer reflects the needs of our community, our country and the wider world. We will also offer the opportunity for personal prayer. At the beginning of the lunch hour, grace is said by the children in every class. We use a variety of themes for our worship. It is expected that those leading worship that week will relate their worship to one of these themes. This will mean that pupils will have had the opportunity to reflect on the theme from a variety of viewpoints. This pattern is flexible and on occasions it is recognised that worship leaders may feel that they need to respond to local or national events. A record of our worship is maintained in our Worship File. We aim to provide a variety of experiences for our children. We welcome visitors to participate in organising acts of worship. From time to time, we welcome speakers from other denominations, charities and organisations. This is a suggested but not comprehensive list of suggestions for themes to use in our Assemblies: Seal Themes Religious Days Term 1 New Beginnings Courage Friendship Rules and Mottos Rights and Wrongs Challenges Faith and Belief Harvest and Growing Rosh Hashanah Jewish Festival Yom Kippur Jewish festival Sukkot Jewish Festival Autumn Equinox Harvest 6

7 Term 2 Getting On and Falling Out (Say No to Bullying Anti Bullying Week Mid Nov) Forgiveness Friendship War and Peace Signs and Symbols Advent and Christmas Family Celebrations Term 3 Going For Goals (incl. Targets) Making choices Opportunities Stepping stones & Stumbling blocks People Who Help Us The Environment All Saint s Day 1 st November All Soul s Day 2 nd November Diwali Remembrance Sunday Sangha Day Buddhist Festival Thanksgiving USA Advent St Andrew s Day 30 November Hanukkah Jewish Festival Christmas St Stephen s Day 26 th December Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Festival Epiphany St Hillary s Day 13 th January Chinese New Year World Religion Day Vasant Panchami Hindu Festival Burn s Night 25 th January St Dwynwen s Day 25 th January Term 4 Good To Be Me Lent Leaders & Leadership Heroes and Heroines Hidden Treasures Light and Dark Seasons and New Life Easter St David s Day 1 st March Mothering Sunday St Patrick s Day 17 th March Spring Equinox Passion Sunday Rama Navami Hindu Festival Palm Sunday Holy Week Passover Jewish Festival Maundy Thursday Good Friday Easter Sunday Easter Monday Hana Matsui Buddhist Festival Yom Yashoah Jewish Festival Baisakhi Sikh Festival 7

8 Term 5 Relationships (With Others incl. Feelings) Emotions Understanding Others Sacred Books Parables and Stories Life s Experiences Helping hands St George s Day 23 rd April May Day Rogation Sunday Ascension Day Shavuot Jewish Festival Pentecost or Whitsun Buddha Day Buddhist Festival Term 6 Changes Seasonal Change The World Around Us Conservation Names the importance of names / changing names Moving On / Beginnings and Endings Farewell but not Goodbye! Fathers Day Midsummers Day 21 st June St Swithin s Day -15 th July Ramadan Muslim Festival Ganesh Chaturthi Hindu Festival NB Please note that some Festivals and Religious Days are movable. 8

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