Prayer & Collective Worship
The Nature of Collective Worship
We believe that Christian worship in a Catholic school is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action, to God’s invitation to enter into relationship, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
We acknowledge the legal requirement that there must be a daily act of worship for all pupils. We understand that simply holding an assembly that includes a prayer, said either by the teacher or everyone present, does not fulfil this requirement. We also acknowledge that collective worship and assembly are distinct activities. They may sometimes form part of the same gathering, but the difference between the two will always be made clear.
The act of worship is not designated curriculum time under regulations and will not be subsumed under any part of the curriculum, including religious education.
In this school, responsibility for making sure that statutory requirements are met concerning Collective Worship rests with the Academy Committee after consultation with the Principal.
The Place of Collective Worship in the Life of our School
We endorse the belief that Collective Worship takes into account the religious and educational needs of all who share in it:
- Those who form part of the worshipping community in church
- Those for whom school may be their first and only experience of church
- Those from other Christian traditions – or none
- Those from other faith backgrounds.
It will be an educational activity or experience to which all can contribute and from which all can gain.
Worship in this school is more than just a legal requirement. It is an integral part of school life and central to the Catholic tradition.
The Aims of Collective Worship
We believe that Collective Worship in our school aims to provide opportunity for all pupils and staff:
- To contemplate something of the mystery of God
- To reflect on spiritual and moral issues
- To explore their own beliefs
- To respond to and celebrate life
- To experience a sense of belonging and develop community spirit
- To develop a common ethos and shared values
- To enrich religious experience
- To grow in liturgical understanding and development
- To reinforce prayers which are part of the Catholic tradition
- To reinforce positive attitudes
- To participate fully
- To take time out ‘to wonder at’, ‘to come to terms with’ and ‘to give worth to.’
All Acts of Worship in this school will:
- Give glory and honour to God
- Be a quality activity, fundamental to the life of the school and its Catholic character
- Give children positive liturgical experiences, appropriate to their age, aptitude and family backgrounds in order to prepare them for the liturgical life of the Church. In order to do this, celebrations will appropriately paced, of a suitable duration and will be simple, including a range of experiences offered in a variety of groupings and in a variety of settings.
Worship and Liturgy will take the form of:
- Prayers at the beginning and end of each day, and before meals.
- Longer quiet times of prayer and reflection
- Appropriate assemblies
- Liturgies and Masses
The Planning, Content and Delivery of Collective Worship
Collective Worship is planned:
- following a structure with reference to the Church’s seasons, significant dates and the curriculum. Scripture will be the focus in most acts of worship
- involving consultation with appropriate parties and reference to school aims and policies
- with flexibility to respond to changing situations within the school and the wider community
- to develop in pupils skills that enable them to prepare, organise and lead worship rather than always participating or contributing in a token way.
Traditional Prayers of the Church
Children will be taught the traditional prayers of the Church and Mass responses.