For generations, schools have recognised the value of gathering pupils together each day. The elements of a caring, sharing community are often best celebrated together within the context of the discussion, music, singing, story telling, worship and reflection; we call “Collective Worship”.
Within our school family we explore the beliefs, values, codes and ethos of the school and seek to know more of our relationship with a loving and just God.
In order to allow this to happen, we need to offer opportunities
- To explore, share and accept beliefs and ideas and consider their relevance,
- To consider the importance of prayer, praise, meditation and silence and listening to God, allowing participants to experience and engage in these aspects of worship on a daily basis.
- To think about the needs of others and develop a sense of Community,
- To celebrate achievement, and endeavour in all aspects of life and to reinforce positive attitudes,
- To come to terms with aspects of right and wrong, good and bad, and to acquire the strategies by which to judge the difference.
- To understand and develop personal standards and values.
Collective worship at The Downs is Inclusive, Invitational, and Inspiring.
Worship is collective in that it involves meeting, exploring, questioning, and responding to others and, for some, to God. Pupils, their families and other adults can expect to encounter worship that is inclusive of, and fully accessible to, all. Many pupils and staff in our schools will come from homes of different faith backgrounds as well as of no faith background. Moreover, many pupils will naturally be at different stages of their spiritual journey during their time in school.
We aim to include children in the delivery of Collective Worship through class assemblies and planning sessions.
Parents, pupils and adults can expect to encounter worship that is consistently invitational. There should be no compulsion to ‘do anything’. Rather, worship should provide the opportunity to engage whilst allowing the freedom of those of different faiths and those who profess no religious faith to be present and to engage with integrity. The metaphor of ‘warm fires and open doors’ captures this idea. The warmth of the fire derives from the clarity and authenticity of the Christian message at its heart. Importantly the door is open, all are welcome to come in and sit as near or as far away from the fire as they feel comfortable. Pupils and adults are invited to pray if they wish to do so and are invited to pray in their own way. Prayer is accompanied by the option to reflect.
Pupils and adults can expect the worship they encounter our school to be inspirational. It enables pupils and adults to ask big questions about who we are and why we do what we do. It should motivate pupils and adults into action, into thinking differently, and into reflecting on their and the wider community’s behaviour and actions. As a result of inspirational collective worship, children should be inspired to become courageous advocates of causes. It should encourage them to think searchingly about their faith, beliefs and/or philosophical convictions.
Thank you Lord, for our teachers;
Help us to be kind and cheerful;
Encourage us to think of others and
Do our best together each day.
Our school is safe and friendly,
Whether we feel happy or sad;
Never let us lose our faith:
So be it. Amen