“Collective worship brings the vision alive for all members of the school community. Staff, parents and pupils talk enthusiastically about the impact it has on their lives. An imaginative combination of drama, music and visual prompts are used very effectively by both pupils and adults to ‘paint pictures’ for pupils, enabling them to think about the message being shared.”
SIAMS inspection report February 2019
Collective Worship is an integral part of our school day at St. Stephen’s C.E. Primary School. Collective Worship takes various forms across the week. The Collective Worship we offer is varied, invitational and thought provoking. It includes prayer, time for quiet reflection, song, direct biblical teaching and creative approaches to provoke thinking.
Our worship follows a biannual values theme, with every half term exploring a particular Christian value. Charity events are often linked into the values, for example, within our generosity theme, we invite our families to give to the local Food Bank. Father David, our local vicar, leads worship every week, following a Church year focus. We felt it was important for our children to understand the seasons within the Christian year and ‘walk’ through the year marking these special dates and understanding their significance. Every Friday, we hold a Celebration Worship which cements our vision in nurturing our children to be the best that they can be, enabling them to let their light shine to the world. In addition to this, we have a flexible and fluid worship on a Monday, which changes focus depending on school priorities. In recent weeks we have been worshipping the awe and wonder of the natural world as we continue to embark on our OPAL journey. As we understand that personal reflection and response is equally important, we have embarked on an exciting new venture: ‘Quiet time’ is a class based worship which invites children to reflect spiritually on a range of Christian themes. Children have the opportunity to worship through a creative response within their spiritual journals, which the children seem to particularly enjoy.
“Invitational, inclusive and inspiring worship is at the heart of the school. Highly creative approaches draw in families and church members to worship with the school on a monthly basis. This has a great impact on and, in some instances transforms pupils’ and adults’ lives.”
SIAMS inspection report February 2019
We are most proud of our monthly Open Worships in school, which provide an opportunity for parents, carers, community and Church congregation to join us in worship. Feedback from pupil voice suggests that the children particularly enjoy these special times as they feel it makes worship seem more important and special. Our children across the school have the opportunity to lead Open Worships: Y2 lead our Harvest Open Worship, Y3 lead our Easter Open Worship, Y4 lead our Ascension and Pentecost Open Worship in St. Stephen’s Church, Y5 lead our Farewell to Y6 Open Worship and Y6 lead our Reception Dedication Service to welcome the new Reception families into the family of our Church School.
The experience of worship is broad and varied, with a wide range of techniques adopted to engage and inspire the children’s thinking and reflection. From pupil voice, children have stated that they particularly enjoy the use of mime, freeze framing and drama within worship, so as a result we strive to incorporate such techniques as much as possible. Children also shared, through our worship committee that they wanted to have a quiet time before worship to allow time for quiet prayer. Quiet reflection now features at the start of every worship.
Worshipping through song is a huge part of both our school culture and worship style. Our pupils genuinely love to sing and we pro-actively exhaust many opportunities to lift our hearts in joy and worship. Worshipping through song is part of everyday worship, with the children enjoying a huge repertoire of hymns, both traditional and modern. We are proud of our school choir, who meet every Friday night, singing a large array of songs, both secular and religious. At Christmas time, it is our school choir who actively share the true meaning of Christmas throughout our community, singing in care homes, supermarkets and on the town green.