Collective Worship Policy
MEADOW HIGH SCHOOL
Approved by Governors:
Review Date: _____/_____/2017
Member of staff responsible: Assistant Head teacher: J. Richards
Collective Worship Policy
Meadow High School believes that school assemblies both support and strengthen 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 an appropriate manner. We also value the opportunity it gives us to gather as a collective group to celebrate the children’s achievements.
It is a legal requirement that all registered school age pupils take part in an act of worship each day. These acts of worship must be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character” for the majority of the time. They must also be “appropriate, having regard to the ages, aptitudes and family backgrounds of the pupils”. Our assemblies are non denominational in character and have a high emphasis on moral discussions and celebrations.
Families who send their children to this school are in the main from a range of faith backgrounds, including Hindu, Muslim, Jewish etc/ some children are from practising Christian families, in addition, there are children who are from religions other than Christianity and some from non-religious backgrounds. 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. The faith background of both the staff and the child’s family is respected at all times.
Through our collective worship we aim to provide a caring and supportive environment for children to:
Become increasingly aware of themselves as individuals and groups within the school and wider community
Grow in understanding of the feelings of other people in every day situations and beliefs
Explore the language which people use to express their feelings
Deepen their sense of wonder about the world around them
Grow in confidence when making a presentation to the group or whole school
Respond freely to religious and/or spiritual stimulus
Acknowledge diversity and affirm each person’s life stance, whether it be religious or not
At Meadow High School we combine our acts of worship with assemblies, helping to ensure that worship takes place within a broad educational framework. There is one assembly each week for each pupil in their separate Key Stages. There is also one assembly for the whole school, held on a Friday. In addition, form tutors discuss matters in a way that will foster a spirit of caring and responsibility towards each other during tutor time each day.
The headteacher or other senior staff lead the whole school assembly each week, whilst the relevant Assistant Head and / or Form Tutors may lead the Year Group assemblies each week. Pupils are encouraged to take an active part in both planning and leadership at certain times of the year.
Key Stage assemblies encompass a wide variety of themes, which may include religious festivals, known national or international events, and aspects taken from the school calendar. Staff leading assemblies plan around and build a bank of resources which can be stored electronically on the school ‘assembly’ file.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The headteacher is responsible (under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998) for arranging the daily collective worship after consulting with the governing body.
All Form Tutors follow the PSHE programme in tutor time.
All Teaching Staff are required to attend assemblies unless they have formally withdrawn from them by putting their request with the relevant member of staff.
Parents of a pupil have a right to withdraw their children from collective worship. If a parent asks for their child to be wholly or partly excused from attending collective worship at the school the school must comply unless the request is withdrawn. Any parent who wishes to exercise this right should consult the head teacher and put their reasons in writing formally requesting this withdrawal.
The Education and Inspection Act 2006 makes provision for pupils in post-16 education to exercise the right to withdraw themselves from the daily act of collective worship, but not from assembly.
The deputy headteacher is responsible for ensuring that parents are reminded on an annual basis of the content of this policy via the school website.
This policy is shared with all staff. Parents are advised of the policy on an annual basis via the school website.
ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON PLANNING AND CONDUCTING COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
In planning our assemblies, we choose from a range of methods, including:
Sacred and secular stories/readings
Visual aids/focal points
Song/music is a very powerful means of creating the right atmosphere and unifies and uplifts the school community. Music from a variety of cultures and types is used on occasions. Music should be selected carefully to match the theme.
The use of prayer has led to a great deal of debate. We feel that, whilst prayer is a good way of enabling children to focus their thoughts, pupils should not be required to say or affirm prayers in which they do not believe.
Our assemblies celebrate achievement and cover a wide range of moral topics and taking into account the needs and diversity of the students is identified as the most appropriate method.
Pupils through the teaching of Religious Education cover an understanding of world religions and beliefs.