What do we mean by ‘Collective Worship’?
Our assemblies are called ‘Collective Worship’. As a Church School we celebrate a collective act of worship every day. When worship takes place in the hall, we use a small worship table with a cross and a candle on it, which provides a focus for our thinking. We also use a range of resources, including books, props and visual aids, such as ‘powerpoints’. Music is used at the start, enabling children to move calmly into the hall and giving them time for personal reflection before we begin. Our collective worship begins with a Christian greeting, after which we light the candle. We often sing a hymn or song together. We always end with a prayer. Often, we invite a child to come and lead a prayer, linked to the theme we have been discussing. Children are invited to make the prayer their own by joining in with the end refrain ‘Amen’ if they choose to do so. Music is used at the end of the Collective Worship, as the children move back to their classes.
During the course of the week, there are usually some opportunities for collective worship to take place in classes, and in Key Stages, as well as coming together as a whole school. This enables us to tailor our materials and approach to suit the differing ages and needs of our children.
There is a programme of themes drawn up annually which is circulated to all those who lead worship. The themes provide a structure to the year, addressing major Christian festivals and exploring aspects of the Anglican faith. The themes also provide children with information about other World Faiths and enable them to be aware of events happening in our country and in the wider world.
We are fortunate to be well supported by both clergy and lay people from the Parish of the Resurrection and from Alton Methodist Church. This enables the children to experience worship led by a variety of visitors from our local churches on a regular basis; younger and older, men and women, individuals and groups. This provides our children with a rich variety of experiences, and makes strong and relevant links to our local churches.
Our programme of Collective Worship is open to all and aims:
To offer opportunities to re-affirm, interpret and put into practice the Christian values and ethos of the school
To help children explore and develop their own spirituality
To help children to explore and develop their own beliefs
To be an opportunity for pupils to reflect on human existence
To offer opportunities for children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
To enable children to think deeply, to ask or attempt to answer searching questions, and to share ideas confidently within a community which respects each individual’s views and contributions
To be inclusive and welcoming, accessible to those with faith and those with no faith, respecting the individual and family values of every child in our community
To allow opportunities to participate in prayer and silent reflection
To celebrate the various achievements of each member of the school community
To offer opportunities to share worship with staff, parents, governors and the local community
In planning for Collective Worship, we are always very aware of the fact that every member of the school community should feel equally valued and free from discrimination on grounds of religion. We are also mindful of the fact that children of different ages and adults will be at different stages of spiritual development and therefore they should feel able to respond and participate at their own level.
We acknowledge the fact that parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from the act of worship either partly or wholly. Any parent wishing to do so should contact the Head teacher. Members of staff also have the right to withdraw from leading or taking part in worship.
We welcome visitors to our collective worship, and parents and carers are welcome to book a visit at the school office.
Please follow the links to view either our AEP Collective Worship Policy or our AEP RE Policy.