St Ebbe’s is a Church of England Voluntary Aided school. Collective Worship is therefore an important part of the school day as it gives us the opportunity to come together as a school community to reflect and celebrate together. It is attended by all students, staff and any visitors in school are welcome to join in. All schools should have a daily act of collective worship which is ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ as required by the Education Reform Act, 1988.
Responsibility for the collective worship policy lies with the school’s Governing Body.
The school sets aside time for collective worship for the whole school community to celebrate and reflect on our values and beliefs. We celebrate the fact that our children and staff come from a variety of faith backgrounds by incorporating stories and festivals from different faiths. During collective worship we aim to develop a sense of belonging to our school, the society and the world in which we live and to provide an opportunity for children to develop a sense of spirituality.
Aims of collective worship at St Ebbe’s School
- To develop an awareness of inner self and what it is to be a human being
- To consider the big questions in life
- To help children think about religious writings, beliefs, teaching and festivals of the major world religions
- To provide an inclusive opportunity for children to worship God
- To celebrate the successes of the school and individuals and the wider community
- To provide opportunities to develop a sense of reverence
- To provide an opportunity for calm reflection
- To create a sense of occasion and something which is separate from the rest of the school day
- To ensure an environment conducive to worship, and invite a variety of responses appropriate to children’s different beliefs
- To develop a sense of community within the school and understand what it means to be part of a wider community
- To nurture links with our two churches St Matthew’s and St Ebbe’s and with our local community
- To give children something to consider and reflect on which is relevant to them and their different beliefs
- To recognise the wide variety of beliefs within our community and respect the faith position of each child
- To enable children to explore their own beliefs
- Assemblies will not be used to promote the Christian position or any other faith position as better or superior to any other and will not be used to attempt to convert children to Christianity or any other faith
- Assemblies will focus on positive messages and positive outcomes for everyone, regardless of faith, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation
- Those delivering assemblies will use positive, inclusive language and focus on positive concepts
- Our assemblies use a variety of approaches including drama, dance, poetry, story, film and audio to explain or promote a monthly value
- Assemblies on Thursdays usually include stories and events from the Bible to explain or promote the monthly value
- We encourage everyone to participate and respond to the teaching about the monthly value
Planning for collective worship
The themes for collective worship are based on monthly values chosen by pupils and staff in consultation with the student council, and agreed by Governors. The choice of monthly value tends to also reflect the Anglican Church calendar or other festivals, anniversaries or world events to mark or celebrate. They include a weekly opportunity for a class to share what they have been learning with the whole school community and parents. Thursday assemblies and assemblies delivered by any other invited visitors are planned collaboratively by school staff and the clergy or other visitor.
Acts of collective worship may include the whole school or groups of children and are held in the school hall. We have services at St Matthew’s Church three times a year.
Structure of weekly Collective Worship
9.10- 9.30 whole school assembly, led by head teacher, deputy head or invited visitor
KS1 9.10- 9.30 key stage assembly, KS2 10.10-10.30 KS2 singing assembly
9.10-9.30 KS1 singing assembly, KS2 10.10-10.30 key stage assembly
9.10- 9.30 whole school assembly led by representatives from St Matthew’s or St Ebbe’s Church. The timetable for Thursday assemblies can be found on the noticeboard in reception or can be read here:
9.10- 9.30 sharing assembly led by head teacher, staff and children. Families are invited to join us for this assembly
At St Ebbe’s School we seek to be an inclusive community and in our acts of collective worship aim to respect the faith position of each individual. However we acknowledge the right of parents to withdraw their children from collective worship. We expect that withdrawal will be made following a conversation between parents and the head teacher, followed by written confirmation of the parents’ request to withdraw their child.
Evaluation of impact
Responsibility for evaluation and monitoring lies with the governing body.
Governors regularly monitor all assemblies and record their observations on a monitoring form held in an open file in the school office. Parents are welcome to join us at any assembly, and are invited to contribute to whole school monitoring by also completing the monitoring form. These monitoring forms are all evaluated by the foundation governors’ committee (meetings of which are open to all governors) three times annually, and reported to the full governing body (FGB). Content from the summary and feedback from FGB discussions then feeds into the cycle of planning for the next academic year.