At Northbourne CE Primary School we believe that worship should be an integral part of the life of the school, reflecting the Christian ethos of the school, the Anglican tradition of Christianity and valuing and developing our links to St. Peter’s Church.  As such, we strive to ensure that worship is an important and valuable part of each school day by ensuring it:

  • Strives to be uplifting
  • Has high status and value
  • Is an educational experience
  • Is inclusive
  • Invites, rather than coerces, response and participation from pupils and staff
  • Contributes to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Collective worship at Northbourne includes material from faiths other than Christianity; for example, the major festivals of other faiths may be used as starting points for worship.  We believe that this is a key part of the general religious and cultural education of other pupils, and provides ways of growing understanding and valuing members of other faiths in school and wider society.

 

Statutory Requirements

Arrangements for collective worship in schools are the responsibility of the governors in consultation with the headteacher.  Church schools must fulfil three main legal requirements for collective worship:

  • Provide an act of worship for all pupils every day
  • Ensure that collective worship is in accordance with the trust deed of the school
  • Ensure that parents understand they may withdraw their children from all or any part of collective worship.  We acknowledge the legal right of parents to withdraw their children from collective worship.

 

Worship in Practice

Worship takes place in a variety of groupings and is led by a range of people.  The headteacher has responsibility for the overall management of this.  Children are involved in worship in a range of ways, including through taking part in demonstrations or activities, through leading prayer, by asking questions, by helping the headteacher or other leader of worship evaluate the success of the session, or by planning and leading whole sessions themselves.  Assemblies are also used to share and celebrate the achievements and work of children, and parents are invited to join us for some of these.

To meet our aim of ensuring worship is an educational experience, sessions are carefully planned to be relevant, appropriate and engaging for the age groups involved.  Records of this planning, showing the themes and content covered, are available for governors and parents on request.

We strive to ensure we create a sense of purpose and atmosphere conducive to worship.  To enable this, worship contains a range of experiences, typically including time for reflection, for prayer, music, a hymn and other engaging stories or stimuli.

 

For 2023-24, the cycle of Worship is:

Assembly

Led by

Attended by

Monday Whole-school Worship1 Headteacher / pupils Whole school
Tuesday God’s Storyteller2 Rev Hannah Reynolds Whole school
Wednesday Singing assembly Headteacher Whole school
Thursday Classroom worship, linked to God’s Storyteller and current values Class teachers Individual classes
Friday Celebration assembly Senior Leadership Team Whole school
End of each long term Service at St. Peters’ Church Church leaders Whole school

 

1Whole school worship on Monday generally takes the previous episode of God’s Storyteller as a starting point, following on from and developing either the themes or the stories introduced during worship the previous week.  Pupils are invited to lead this worship by nominating themselves and working with the Headteacher to develop their ideas into a plan.   In addition, throughout each term some Monday assemblies will instead be based on themes and festivals from other religions which may complement the concepts and stories in God’s Storyteller or which may act as more discrete acts of reflection to tie in with national or international events.  The first worship of each term tends to be linked to the core Christian value which is the focus for the term, and this remains a focus for worship throughout the rest of the term.

2God’s Storyteller is a 4-year cycle of stories, written by Edward Carter, each of which is, in essence, a parable about God and the events in the Bible.  Each term has an ongoing story, a theme and a Bible verse, and each story encourages children to think about their own values in light of the adventures of the characters in the story.