Our purpose is to develop a love of learning within a nurturing Christian community in a way that enables every child to be the best they can be and to flourish in an ever-changing world, which is shown in our Christian vision;
‘Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’ - Matthew 5:16
This verse underpins our Christian vision that we want to develop children as citizens who make a difference to themselves; their peers and their community. We are all different; we are all unique; we all have strengths. We want our children to find their light and let it shine; and let God and ourselves be proud of who they are when they depart The Three Schools and move on to their next adventure. We believe that teaching children the importance of ‘Love’, ‘Honesty’, ‘Respect’ and ‘Forgiveness’ will ensure our children become good citizens; they are aware of their strengths and abilities; and how to make a positive difference in society.
At The Three Schools, the daily Act of Collective Worship is central to the life of the school. In our schools, our vision is to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven”. This policy intends to outline how our whole school community lives this out in relation to collective worship. Our Christian Values are firmly rooted in this policy. It makes a major contribution to upholding the religious character and Christian distinctiveness of our school.
The Act of Collective Worship is a time in the school day when children meet together with members of staff, as a school community, in a calm, quiet and peaceful atmosphere and where all present are given an opportunity to think and reflect. It is also a time to deal with issues, events and things that matter, as and when they occur. It promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all participants and gives children the opportunity to enter into experiences which lie at the heart of religion. These experiences help them learn about religious worship and provide a framework for later understanding. The contributions of staff, pupils, church clergy and other visitors are valued highly, promoting the sense of ownership by all.
The collective worship policy at the Three Schools reflects the schools’ Christian ethos, trust deeds and has taken account of the guidance offered by the Diocese of Oxford.
Collective Worship reflects our values of;
As well as our motto – ‘With HONESTY, RESPECT, FORGIVENESS and LOVE, we persevere, succeed and shine’.
Our Christian Vision, Vales and Motto are all central to the life and ethos of the school. We aim to demonstrate these in everything that we do and in our daily lives. (See school values section of the school website, www.threeschools.org). Collective Worship is central to the life and ethos of the school. It shapes our approach to others and to what we do in school.
Collective worship is central to the life of our schools, worship offers the pupils and others in our school an opportunity to reflect on values and issues in the context of our Christian vision and ethos. It is an expression of our vision and shapes our approach to others and to what we do in school. We warmly invite all members of our school community to join our worship.
The Purpose of Collective Worship
At The Three Schools, we recognise that Collective Worship should be of the highest quality, engaging participants and should aim to inspire pupils and staff, enabling spiritual growth. The following principles guide our approach.
- Collective Worship should provide experiences within which pupils’ spiritual development may flourish
- Collective Worship should affirm the Christian faith and the Christian status of Jesus as Son of God. It should be a means of expressing the Christian vision and values of the school
- Collective Worship should be educational and should contribute to the Religious Education of all pupils
- Collective Worship should be shaped to the needs of the school (time, place, content, style)
- Collective Worship should provide a varied pattern and style of worship to broaden pupils’ experience of its different forms
- Collective Worship should recognise that the school includes children from different religious and non-religious backgrounds
- Collective Worship should enable pupils to participate and respond, through active involvement in the planning, leading, presentation and evaluation of Worship
Children and staff at The Three Schools engage in Collective Worship each day. As part of our Collective Worship, we come together to explore and reflect on our Christian values. Each half term, we focus on different values and explore each in a variety of ways: through bible stories; through music; through reflection and through drama.
Collective Worship takes place in a variety of groupings in the school hall, the classroom, outside and at St Swithun’s Church (Swanbourne) and St Mary the Virgin Church (Mursley). It occurs at a variety of times in the school day and is designed to promote thinking beyond the time given to Worship itself. Parents and families are invited to join us at any of the Whole School Worship and especially our Friday Worship and celebration assembly.
Themes for Collective Worship are planned by the Executive Headteacher and Foundation Governors. Planning focusses primarily upon the study and appreciation of a value as follows:
Joy, Thankfulness, Compassion and Harvest
Community, Trust and Christmas
Perseverance, Justice and Epiphany
Courage, Dignity, Lent and Easter
Wisdom, Peace and Friendship
Hope, Truthfulness, Respect and Pentecost
Monitoring and Evaluation
Following the planning of worship; the evaluation and recording, needs to be an integral part of the process. Worship can be evaluated by those leading the worship, other staff, the pupils for whom the worship is intended or members of the governing body. Feedback from any of these groups will help to improve the quality of worship offered to the pupils.
A monitoring sheet is used to monitor and evaluate Collective Worship. All stakeholders including staff, Governors, pupils, parents and visitors are invited to evaluate our Worship.
The Executive Headteachers or RE Leaders will observe at least 2 acts of Collective Worship each Half term (from a range of leaders, styles and formats) to ensure that they meet the requirements of the 1988 education Act and The Three Schools Collective Worship policy.
Evaluation forms are kept in the Collective Worship folder.
Staff, pupils and where appropriate parents’ views are collected annually through our staff and pupil worship questionnaires and parent school questionnaire. This provides opportunities for the school community to evaluate the quality and impact of collective worship and to identify ways in which it might be improved.
The Foundation Governors have a key role in the monitoring and evaluation process and to ensure that the legal requirements are met ensuring the worship offered to pupils is of the highest quality. To monitor the effectiveness of worship the governors complete the Collective Worship section of the SIAMS National Societies Self-evaluation toolkit and is shared at the full Governing body meetings.
Right of Withdrawal
It is expected that by opting/electing to work in a church school, the staff share the vision and distinctive Christian ethos of the school and readily participate in Collective Worship. All teachers, including the Head teachers, have the right of withdrawal from Collective Worship, but the head teachers, should he or she wish exercise this right, maintains statutory accountability for Acts of Collective Worship at The Three Schools.
Although legally parents have the option of withdrawing their children from Collective Worship, it is expected that by applying to a church school, parents understand the school’s distinctive Christian character and recognise that Collective Worship is central to the life of the school, therefore not feeling it necessary to withdraw their child.
Our policy sets out clearly our aspiration that Collective Worship will be a valuable and valued experience for all members of our school community whatever their backgrounds and beliefs. It is invitational and reflective in nature and never coercive or indoctrinatory.
However, we recognise that parents have a right to withdraw their children from all or any acts of worship. We request that those who wish to exercise this right inform the Headteacher in writing so that the school records are accurate. We also appreciate opportunities to speak with parents and staff who have concerns about Collective Worship, always keen to develop our understanding of sensitivities and to overcome difficulties where possible. Those pupils who are withdrawn from worship are cared for by a member of the school’s staff.
We appreciate opportunities to speak with parents or staff who have concerns about Collective Worship and are always keen to develop our understanding of the sensitivities of other faiths, beliefs and cultures overcoming any difficulties where possible.