At Totley All Saints, Collective Worship and Singing and Celebration Assemlies, are a wonderful opportunity to share, reflect and explore personal beliefs, issues of identity, and questions of meaning and purpose. They are central to our welcoming and inclusive community and support us in embedding our values. It is planned to enable all pupils of any religion or none to take part as appropriate. Prayer is central but invitational.
The aim of our collective worship is to:
1. Make our values explicit and develop pupils’ thinking so they are able to explore their own beliefs and motivations
2. Promote respect for the beliefs, practices & values of others within the school and the community & an opportunity for pupils to explore and evaluate their own beliefs, whether religious or not, in relation to those of others.
3. Help pupils develop their own spirituality and foster sensitivity to the beliefs, practices and values of others
4. Build a sense of community so pupils consider their place in the community and what it means to be a citizen of the world
5. Develop a sense of belonging within every child, so all understand their place in our school.
6. Help pupils know and celebrate who they are and who they might become
7. Mark occasions of celebration and commemoration
8. Provide quiet time for reflection upon the fundamental questions of existence
9. Encourage hope, aspiration, awe, wonder & develop self-understanding, empathy, compassion and wisdom
10. Provide an opportunity for all to Worship and to develop their own relationship with God if they choose to.
All present (pupils, staff and visitors) should feel valued whatever their faith or beliefs with no assumption of a shared religious commitment. Collective worship will acknowledge and respect the responses of individual pupils and provide opportunities for them to express their feelings, delight at life, wonder, and joy.
Children will often cite their love & enthusiasm for assemblies shown in our TASS Top Ten:
“I like assembly on Friday because you find out who has won the most merit points!” Evie aged 6.
“Our Headteacher does the best assemblies ever!” Eddie aged 9.
“I like assemblies because you can have quiet time to pray & think about God!” Issey aged 11.
Each half term a new theme is introduced and is explored in the acts of Collective Worship. In this way it makes an important contribution to promoting children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development (please click to find out more about SMSC Development at our school). It is also a vehicle for supporting inclusion as well as building community cohesion. Our vicar, Reverend Ben Tanner supports our planning of Collective Worships and deliveries Collective Worship iin school once a month.
Collective Worship is a legal requirement of schools under the 1944 Education Act & was affirmed in subsequent legislation (1988 and1996). In accordance with the law and the ethos of our school, the majority of acts of Collective Worship reflect the ‘broad traditions of Christian belief’. This does not restrict the focus exclusively to Christianity alone, but will sometimes include material from a range of spiritual, religious and secular contexts.
Pupils will be encouraged to explore ideas arising from the stimulus material presented by staff and visitors and invited to reflect on them from their own perspectives.
There is never any intention to impose religious ideas or beliefs on pupils but often the material can raise issues and questions that are relevant to their lives, irrespective of their background.
There will always be a time of quiet when pupils are invited to reflect on the focus of the assembly, with an invitation to those children for whom it is appropriate to make their thoughts into a personal prayer. Sometimes words of traditional prayers are used to support that reflection.
Who leads Collective Worship?:
- All members of staff are given the opportunity to lead Collective Worship;
- All children are given the opportunity to take a lead;
- Members of appropriate organisations are invited to share in Collective Worship.
At Totley All Saints, we conduct assemblies in a dignified and respectful manner. Children know that assembly time is a period of calm reflection. We regard it as a special time: there is time to be wilent, still and thoughtful and to listen carefully to the content and participate fully in prayer and singing if they choose to. We create an appropriate atmosphere by using music and sometimes candles or other objects that act as a focal point for the attention of the children.
Weekly Cycle of Assemblies:
Each week includes themed collective worships which includes prayer and reflection, a singing assembly and a celebration of achievements. Reverend Ben Tanner also leads Collective Worship.
Class reflection time is also a very important part of our Collective Worship and gives us a number of opportunities to reflect on readings from the Bible.
Right of Withdrawal:
At Totley All Saints, we hope to provide Collective Worship that offers an inclusive opportunity to foster a sense of belonging for everyone associated with the school. For this reason, it is hoped all pupils will take part every day. However, if parents do not want their child to be included, they have the right to withdraw her or him from one or all acts of Collective Worship. Those wishing to do so are asked to discuss their reasons with the Headteacher and to complete and sign a withdrawal form. No provision of alternative activities has been agreed.
To find out more about Collective Worship at our school, please download our Collective Worship Policy below.