Worship policy

Summer 2020
Review: Summer 2023

Our Vision

Education in a caring, safe, positive environment where all are welcome and valued. Children enjoy life whilst flourishing and thriving academically, spiritually and personally. Fostering a joy of learning, love for all, forgiveness and respect, creating strong, life-long values, children feel loved by God within the Valley End family.

Our Golden Rules for the children.

We love and care for each other.
We are honest and always tell the truth.
We always try hard to do our best.
We look after property and God’s creation.

As a Church of England Infant School (voluntary controlled) Valley End is committed to a daily pattern of intrinsically Christian worship that is inviting, inspirational and inclusive. Collective worship includes whole school, year group and class assemblies and children experience and appreciate worship as an integral part of school life. As part of our ethos and values, we also sensitively celebrate and strongly respect the faith and belief of others.

Through our daily acts of worship, the whole life of the school, in all its collective and individual richness, is celebrated and offered to God. Our collective worship is age appropriate and is rooted firmly in the Christian faith, the Bible and prayer. Collective worship themes are linked to the distinctly Christian vision, ethos, values and Golden Rules of the school through meaningful and engaging Bible (and other) stories as well as prayer, drama, reflection and the singing of Christian worship songs. We promote both a personal and collective spiritual awareness in such a way as to relate it creatively to aspects of both school and home life.

Children are taught in a child-friendly way about the centrality of Jesus within the Gospel message as well as an appropriate understanding of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Through our collective worship and Christian values, children learn to be thankful and to trust God knowing that He protects and loves them.

Collective worship at Valley End allows all pupils to, invitationally, appropriately and without pressure, have the opportunity to develop spiritually within a deeper and relevant understanding of the Christian faith. Pupils develop an understanding of how to positively apply the explicitly Christian Golden Rules and an understanding of how to relate Bible stories to their everyday personal, emotional and spiritual lives. Prayer and how to apply it, is also developed. Children are encouraged to lead prayers within collective worship and across the school. Without pressure, pupils often pray spontaneously as well as praying school and class prayers. Each classroom has an interactive prayer space and the school also has prayer and memory garden for both staff and pupils to use for times of stillness, prayer and reflection.

The school’s collective worship includes an understanding of the Church of England calendar and liturgical colours, the importance of the Bible with stories of how God loves and protects us, the cross and a candle to show that Jesus is the Light of the World. Collective Worship sessions are regularly held at St Saviour Church Valley End and are led by church’s incumbent. We also invite other local clergy and Christian school groups from surrounding parishes to come and lead worship on a regular basis.

Children are regularly involved in the planning and leading of collective worship. This is achieved through regular class assemblies, spontaneous pupil involvement and the planning and leadership from School Council. The school’s Worship Team also regularly plan and lead collective worship both at school and during child-friendly services at St Saviour Church. The Worship Team work closely with the both the Headteacher and the Children’s Worker at St Saviour Church to plan and lead collective worship.

Weekly Pattern of Collective Worship:

Monday Singing and whole school collective worship with the Headteacher in order to introduce the weekly theme.
Tuesday Class Assembly. Themes are explored in a more intimate atmosphere in order to focus on personal issues which may arise for discussion and prayer. This is a more reflective and prayerful time.
Wednesday Whole school collective worship focused on the weekly theme and led by the Headteacher.
Thursday Whole school collective worship focused on the weekly theme and led by a member of the teaching staff.
Friday Whole school ‘celebration’ assembly during which children share achievements in and out of school. Birthdays are also celebrated.

Staff regularly lead or take part in school collective worship sessions. However, the Headteacher also leads weekly ‘Pause for Thought’ sessions for staff which allows them to reflect on different, Christian themes. These sessions allow staff, should they wish to, a time of quiet thought or prayer and a chance to develop their spiritual and mental health. Themes are sensitively chosen to allow all staff, of whatever faith or none, to be able to access them.

Pupils can be withdrawn from daily collective worship sessions should their parents request it in writing. Such matters will be dealt with the upmost respect and sensitivity.

Links to other policies:

Religious Education Policy
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Policy
Personal, Social and Health Education Policy
Relationships and Health Policy
Teaching and Learning Policy