Trent Young's CE School
The Impact of Collective Worship
How we live this out in our school – a celebration of excellence
Collective Worship plays a big part in the children’s ability to reflect on fundamental questions of life, to understand our vision and values and what they look like when applied to everyday life and the positive difference they make to our whole community. We develop one theme each half-term, bringing in different values as appropriate, so that all of our values are regularly revisited. Our vision is incorporated into all that we do, so that all children are able to describe the many and various ways that they ‘let their lights shine’.
How we achieved this
When planning the structure of worship, we began with the end in mind; we wanted it to have a clear and demonstrable impact on our community; for children to really understand the relevance of the teaching of Christianity to their own lives, no matter what their faith; and to strengthen relationships and improve the way in which we treat each other.
Our week begins with a whole school Collective Worship, which introduces the learning for the week and which all staff attend.
The arts play an important part of worship, so we have a weekly ‘Worship through Song’ where children not only practise hymns and secular songs which fit in with our theme, but where we explore the meaning of the words, what they might mean to us, how they link to prior learning and how music is used as a way of celebrating life and praising God.
There is a class worship session, which explores further the learning from Monday, offers opportunities for children to think about their own actions and beliefs and reinforces the expectation of ‘so as a result of … what have you done differently? What might you do?’ Children’s actions relating to Collective Worship are celebrated and the learning is referred to throughout the week in classes so that over time, the expectation that Collective Worship makes a difference has become embedded. Each class has a Collective Worship floor book, where they record their responses each week to what has been taught and discussed.
Classes take it in turn to plan and deliver Worship, and the week ends with a celebration assembly. The vicar works with a group of children who have volunteered to be part of our ‘Collective Worship Crew’ to plan and deliver worship, and staff, children and governors are given the opportunity to evaluate worship. The vicar also teaches Year 5 about the Eucharist, and all Year 5 and 6 children attend a communion service and have the opportunity to take part in communion if they wish to do so.
We also have a reflection / prayer corner with an activity linked to the theme for the half-term, which the children can undertake during break or lunch times. Staff have also made use of this quiet reflective area.
The difference that it makes
Living out our learning from Collective Worship has resulted in a very strong community, with a distinctive Christian ethos. Children’s spirituality is fostered through opportunities to celebrate the good, to give thanks for the joy of being alive and to share what is meaningful to them, including the darker side of life. Worship allows children of faith and no faith to benefit by allowing time for reflection, and all are able to make links between the teaching of Jesus and their actions and choices
'I feel that I am more thoughtful towards others; it makes me reflect on my actions in life.'
'Our school feels very safe and happy - people learn from their actions and the actions of others and we realise that what we do and say has consequences. We know we are responsible not just for ourselves, for other people’s wellbeing too.'
'I like listening to stories from the Bible and finding out how they can help me.''
'Class worship is a valuable time to ‘dig deeper’ with my class. For example, our discussion about the parable of the sower turned into a very interesting debate about altruism, which not only made the children think deeply, but also challenged my own perceptions!'
'My child often comes home and tells me what they’ve heard in Collective Worship. The overview of the theme we receive each half-term in the class newsletters is very helpful too. '