AIM & PURPOSE OF COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
At Christ the King School, Jesus Christ remains central to every aspect of school life. We aim to be a living, loving and sacramental community which is in inspired by the life of Christ and the teachings of the Church, rooted in Gospel values. We hope that from the minute you enter our school you clearly see and feel that we are a Catholic community.
Acts of worship may take place at any time during the day. It may take the form of a single act of worship with the whole school community or separate acts of worship in school/class groups. In our school there is no confusion between Collective Worship and Assemblies. When we gather for Collective Worship we focus on the Word of God, we use symbol and ritual and we are open to God’s presence among us.
Collective Worship in our school is an integral part of our ethos, aims and relationships, as Christian values permeate all aspects of school life and all relationships.
It is a way of deepening our relationship with God together and individually. Through the many forms this worship takes we grow in spiritual, moral and liturgical understanding. We allow ourselves to grow in understanding of our living faith tradition and then develop a sense of wonder and inspiration in the person of Christ. It is through Collective Worship that we share each other’s faith experiences and learn the skills of prayer and reflection.
We aim to:
- To develop an awareness and understanding of the presence of God in each individual child’s life and to encourage a personal response to that presence.
- To allow each child to develop their conscience and make sound moral judgements based on commitment to following Christ.
- To offer opportunities to deepen their faith and foster attitudes of care and respect for each other.
- To live, experience and understand the Liturgical life of the Church through the Liturgical Year together with Solemnities and Feast days
- To promote sacramental life of Christian families and to encourage parents to take an active part in the preparation of their children for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
- To foster school-parish links to ensure that our children remain exposed and committed to the Catholic faith experiencing liturgy and worship beyond and realms of the school curriculum.
- To enable each child to participate and respond to liturgy and worship in an appropriate way to their age and maturity
COLLECTIVE WORSHIP IN OUR SCHOOL
Collective worship takes place in school daily, staff and pupils are encouraged to pray with thoughtfulness and with respect through a variety of prayer experiences - whole school Masses and liturgies, assemblies and prayer services together with formal classroom and individual reflective prayer.
This worship will follow the liturgical year and include appropriate feast days, it will also encompass Gospel Virtues, world events and worlds faiths to enable pupils to appreciate their place in society and respect those around them. Nursery experiences classroom prayer and some assemblies and when ready whole School Mass.
COLLECTIVE WORSHIP PREPARATION
When, where, who, what? What resources will I need? Create focus.
How will we begin / enter – to music? Create an atmosphere of prayer. Use a ‘gathering chant’, come in procession.
Reading from scriptures. Pause at times for quiet contemplation. Dramatise the readings / Use power point?
What do participants do? Quiet reflection, formal / informal prayer / respond to bidding prayers. Place stone at foot of cross etc.
What will I do to help those present take the message away with them – prayer card, picture, common prayer, action etc.
Each half term, the children develop their understanding of two new virtues (as established in this form by the Jesuits) and strive to apply these to their everyday lives. The virtues Tree is displayed in all classes and in the school foyer.
UNDERSTANDING OF THE LITURGICAL CALENDAR
We ensure that pupils are aware of the Liturgical Calendar and key events in the Church. The symbolism of colours is made clear from the earliest days in our school: purple for penance (seen during Advent and Lent), red for Holy Spirit and martyrdom (seen at Pentecost), white, gold for important feasts, green for the ordinary times of the year, blue is associated with Mary.
Some months of the year have special foci. October is the month of the Rosary, May is the month when Mary is especially remembered.
PUPIL & STAFF EVALUATION OF COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
Before each act of Collective Worship we should be considering:
- Is there a plan available with content to meet the needs of all present?
- Is there an appropriate focus? Are the resources used suitable? Are ICT / Music etc. prepared and ready?
- Do all the readers / leaders have all they need? Have all support staff been briefed?
As we gather we will consider
- How do participants gather – is there a sense or order and respect? Is there a procession / movement to another area?
- How is a prayerful atmosphere created? Is there an invitation to participate? Does everyone feel welcome?
- Is the purpose of the act of worship clear and the focus explained?
As we listen we will consider
- Is the Scripture they are listening to suitable? Is the Word treated with reverence?
- Has / have the reader(s) been well-prepared so as to engage the listener?
- How is the‘reading’ shared – role play, music, power-point etc.? Is it suitable for the participants?
- Do participants listen attentively? Do they show good listening skills?
As we respond we will
- Is there maximum participation? Is time given for individual silent reflection?
- Do children pray / respond wholeheartedly? Are adults good role models? Do all adults present participate?
- Are participants invited to respond in an appropriate manner? (in a variety of ways?)
As we go forth we will consider
- Does Worship conclude appropriately? Do participants leave Collective Worship in a suitable, orderly manner?
- How are they enabled to take the message away with them?
After each act of Collective Worship we should be considering:
- Was it a positive, enriching religious experience for all present?
- Has this worship enhanced the spiritual and / or moral development of those present?
- Was the time and content appropriate for the age, ability and background of the children?
- Did all parts of worship help to develop the Liturgical formation of participants?
- Was it well-organised, led and presented?
- Was there a sense of community, common ethos and shared values?
The whole school celebrates Mass together with our parents and parish community. Children play an active part in each Mass, through reading praying, singing, altar serving and taking part in entrance and offertory processions.
Each term the KS2 classes take it in turn to prepare a mass for our parents and parish community.
FORMAL AND TRADITIONAL PRAYER
Children are encouraged to develop their individual prayer life through daily participation in our formal prayers such as our school prayer, morning prayer, grace before and after meals and end of the day prayer. It is important that we enable pupils to participate in community of the Church through learning our traditional Church prayers. Formal prayers, appropriate to the age and maturity of the year group are taught.
Each day pupils participate in class meditation led by the class teacher. At appropriate level each class experiences prayerful reflections, including silent contemplation, to develop their own spirituality and private prayer. Pupils are encouraged to share their own thoughts and prayers through open prayer.
PRAYER THROUGH THE RE CURRICULUM
Pupils also experience worship through their RE curriculum. Each RE Unit begins with an Explore assembly for the whole school and concludes with a focus Prayer Liturgy in their classrooms, the liturgies reflect on the unit that has been covered using a variety of prayer styles. Pupils have opportunities to take part in saying the Rosary in school especially during the months of October and May.
The children participate in weekly hymn practices, where they learn Mass responses and sing both traditional and modern hymns. Music is central part of worship in our school and hymns are used in all areas of worship from supporting themes within Masses and assemblies to providing atmosphere through chants and reflective music in meditation.
Each class has a focus Prayer Bag created by the Re Subject leader. These are taken home and shared so that the family unit has the opportunity to pray together on a theme familiar to the child.
PRAYER FOCUS AREAS
Each classroom has a prayer focus area help pupils in their prayer life and is used in acts of class worship. It has reminders of liturgical themes and colours.
Children in KS2 are given the opportunity to join our Mini Vinnies parliament group. This group meets once a fortnight. The children have time to develop their active faith through good deeds and prayer. They lead liturgies, monitor prayer focus areas and Come and See displays. they organise CAFOD fundraising events during Lent and they update pupils and teachers on their findings and ways forward during whole school assemblies.
As part of the Church community the school has strong links with the parish. Pupils and staff join the parish for regular Masses as well as parish celebrations. Pupils also take part in the parish sacramental preparation.
LINKS WITH PARENTS
Liturgies and celebrations and events related to the Catholic Life of our school are shared in school newsletters and on twitter and are published on the school website.
Children in each class also have the opportunity to take home a Prayer Bag, promoting opportunities for children and their families to talk and pray together.
Collective worship enables each child to participate and respond to liturgy and worship in an appropriate way to their age and maturity but also using a formal and reflective prayer in a variety to suit the needs of our children and allow them to worship in ways in which they feel comfortable. Collective worship is accessible to all children in our school.
The fair and equal treatment of all individuals irrelevant of race, creed, disability or gender, are integral to the Gospels’ Revelations and the Church’s message and is central to our school mission statement. All children are given equal access to the Religious Education curriculum, promoting their understanding to their full potential.
A variety of prayer and worship activities are used to try to meet all children’s different needs e.g. whole School, whole class, group, pair and individual prayer, also different styles of prayer from formal liturgies to private reflective prayer.
You have the right to choose your own religion and beliefs. Your parents should help you decide what is right and wrong, and what is best for you.