As a church school, Collective Worship is integral in our school life. We hold daily acts of worship; this is usually as a whole school but can also be in the classroom. We recognise that in asking our children to worship we have to consider the background that our children come from and it is therefore not the practice of this school to preach to or convert the children. Collective Worship at Ewhurst CofE Infants is first and foremost for the educational and spiritual benefit of its pupils. It is a shared activity, which allows a variety of responses. It is an inclusive activity, which builds with the broad dimensions of the curriculum and Christian distinctiveness of the school. The creation of atmosphere is assisted by appropriate music, visual foci and symbols. Opportunity for reflection and responses, prayer, story, drama and art are also used to appeal to the pupils’ imagination.
We believe that collective worship both supports and strengthens what we aim to do in every aspect of school life. Our caring ethos, and the value which we place on the development of the whole child; spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and intellectually is reflected in our worship. We value this special time in the school day for the space it gives children to develop a reflective approach to life and the ability to express their reflections in traditionally religious ways or any other appropriate manner.
Our Collective Worship Week looks as follows:
- Mondays are led by class teachers who will follow themes from the school values, theology and world calendar events such as multi faith celebrations.
- Tuesdays- the local rector, Clare Shepherd, or representative from the church, will deliver an act of worship that is pertinent to life at that time. Once a half term, a team from the church deliver an engaging assembly.
- Wednesdays are led by the Head Teacher and will either link to the messages delivered on Monday/Tuesday or might be based on something topical if that is more appropriate.
- Thursdays are called Singing Assemblies and are led by Holly and Cherry class teachers. Songs introduced and practised may be either modern or traditional, mostly praise related with some topical songs for certain times of year. Staff record the songs in the Music Book so that other staff may reprise these.
- Fridays are Celebration Assemblies where all teaching staff and children attend. Children are rewarded for achievements and efforts in school, recorded in our celebration book. A star of the week and three Head Teacher awards are given out to each class and their picture is displayed for the week. Extra-curricular achievements are also celebrated and children can have their achievements displayed on the Celebration Board (Staff achievements are also celebrated!)
- Since September 2021, parents from a single class are invited to attend
Each assembly starts with the offering of Peace and ends with either the Lord’s prayer. Staff will light the candle to ‘remind us that Jesus is with us’ and is used as a point of focus during reflection. The display board shows themes of assemblies and also captures ‘wow moments’ in the children’s own words. Assembly Helpers from Cherry Class will play the CD of the week for entry and exit. Staff and helpers will check the Birthday Book and celebrate birthdays as they arise.
At the end of each term, the school holds assembly in the local church, which we call the ‘End of Term Service’ where, the head teacher and rector share delivery around the themes of Christmas, Easter and Cherry Leavers. These are celebration events where parents are invited and each class receives End of Term Awards for their attendance, perseverance in learning, sporting achievements and also our Guardian Angel award for consistent love and care shown to others. Cherry Class prepare and lead the school and congregation in prayer and in summer, lead the service awarding one another.
The school also attend church services such as Candle lit Service at Christmas and Harvest where staff support children to join in with the local community or deliver readings. At Harvest, each class prepares a performance and parents are invited. This can also be hosted in the school hall.
Every now and then, to support the children in getting used to visitors and parents in school again, we are opening up Celebration Assembly to parents, one class at a time. The parents can watch the assembly, so they can see what happens and the class with parents in will do a small feature such as a song or story etc. This will enable children to get used to having parents in ready for events such as the nativity.
Expectations of Conduct
Every member of the assembly is expected to follow high expectation of behaviour. As this is a time of reflection, it is expected that everyone is quiet and does not engage in conversation unless discussion is directed by the adult leading. It is highly important that staff model this to the children. Staff are expected to participate in the same way as children by joining in the singing and actions to certain songs. All teaching staff attend one or more act of collective worship per week.