As a Church of England school, our worship reflects some of the rich traditions of Anglican prayer and worship. We follow the church calendar and celebrate major festivals of Christmas, Easter, Harvest and the Saints Day of St Andrew’s with our church family. When planning worship, we revisit key aspects of Christianity so that with pupils’ growing maturity they broaden and deepen their spiritual experience and understanding.
Collective worship is an integral part of the life in our school community. It gives expression to and the opportunity to reflect on our Christian and community values and experiences. In our Christian values curriculum ‘Roots and Shoots,’ we teach the twelve values of generosity, compassion, courage, forgiveness, friendship, respect, thankfulness, trust, perseverance, justice, service and truthfulness. Children learn about key teachings and individuals from the Bible and Christian tradition. They are given opportunities to reflect on their own spirituality, thoughts and experiences through moments of silence and stillness, wonder and awe. They are also given the chance to respond in various way, through creativity, action or discussion to explore the themes further in their own lives.
Each term we have a different Christian Value focus. In Tree Houses during the term, we consider this value and what it might mean in a practical sense in classes and in our wider school community. Our school council plans activities and projects, often linked to our Christian values, and the pupils who are ‘values partners’ also develop further ideas for collective worship and the ethos of the school.
At St Andrew’s, collective worship happens daily in a number of ways. Children are often encouraged to contribute. We come together as a whole school and in Key Stage groups and classes. There is always time to reflect and pray; to be still and have time to think. Music is listened to or we sing together. We light a candle to begin every worship and repeat the words “God is light”. Children take an active part in our collective worship, either by writing and sharing prayers on Fridays, acting out Bible stories or contributing through music and song.
Monday assembly – we focus on the value of the term, or our key PSHE theme, sharing stories, and considering big questions.
Tuesday assembly – we worship and celebrate through song, or we further our reflection as a class crew. This is a time when ‘Prayer Bear’ is shared by all classes from EYFS to Year 4, with an opportunity to think about the value of the term at home and put it into a ‘diary’ to share with the class the following week.
Wednesday church assembly – this is led by our church leaders and is an opportunity to develop the theme of the week a little further or in a different way or using a different stimulus.
Thursday – we gather in our community Tree Houses to share discussion and activities around our Christian values and whole school issues.
Friday – we have a celebration assembly to offer congratulations to children who have achieved over and above in their efforts in work or behavior this week. Every week, a different class prepares a prayer. These are collected into a school prayer book.