Matthew 5 v 16 ‘Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 7 v 24 Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.’ (Parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders.)
Why do we do a daily act of worship? (Our intent)
It is our legal duty to hold a daily act of worship, however, we feel it is very important time of the school day for us all. We want to provide an opportunity for children and adults to worship God and to reflect upon the impact of worship in their own lives and the lives of the people around them. This special time contributes to everyone’s spiritual, moral, cultural and social development. We hope it will inspire our school community to work towards ‘Building a bright future for myself, my school and my community’ so that we can shine out our lights of love from our strong foundations. Our strong foundations are our core and monthly values; these reflect our Christian character as they are based on Christian values and have links to bible verses. We strongly believe that the values we hold dear as Christians are shared by many other faiths represented in our school and of those with no faith too.
How do we deliver it? (Our implementation)
We aim to make our times of worship a special time for everyone. As we are a Church of England School our worship times are based on Christian values but we aim to make them accessible to all. Collective worship is delivered in a variety of ways: through drama, art, the spoken word, song, music (singing, playing, listening), poetry, reflection, stories, posters or artefacts. A variety of people lead our worship; school – based adults, pupils, visitors from Christian churches and leaders from other faiths too. We may hold our worship in a school hall, in the classroom, outside or in a local religious building.
When worship takes place in the hall the children enter to music, a song or to silence. Some join in with the song if appropriate or stand quietly. Collective Worship Ambassadors prepare the worship area. We are all welcomed by an adult or a child. The candle on the worship table is lit and the worship begins with a response prayer – usually our school ‘Candle prayer’. The children are involved throughout the worship which finishes with a period of reflection time and a prayer. The prayer is often composed by the children. The candle is blown out to signal the end of worship and messages are given out. Collective Worship Ambassadors clear away the worship area and Year 6 or Year 2 children tidy the hall as the other children leave.
Classroom worship has a clear beginning and end too; usually with the lighting of a candle at the beginning and blowing it out at the end.
What is the difference that this makes? (Our impact)
Our times of worship at St. Mary’s are a time of peace in this busy world of ours which is crucial for everyone’s mental wellbeing. Our times of worship also develop a sense of community within our classrooms or the school and helps foster the sense of being part of a wider community through the celebration of achievements, festivals and special occasions that occur throughout our school, our town and even the world.
We hope that our worship allows for a time of reflection so that we can all think carefully about how we can change our lives, and the lives of others for the better. We hope our times of worship will inspire our school community to work towards ‘Building a bright future for myself, my school and my community’ so that we can shine out our lights of love from our strong foundations.