At Buckingham Park Church of England Primary School it is important that every member of the school community feels valued and respected, and that each person is treated fairly and well. We are a caring community, built on a clear Christian foundation and rooted in Christian values. We aim to provide the highest quality all round education, for each and every child, in partnership with parents, within the context of a Christian community. In short, ‘Excellence, through God who strengthens us’.
All school policies are therefore designed to support the way in which all members of the school can live and work together in a supportive way. It aims to promote an environment where everyone feels happy, safe and secure.
The school has a set of values that are based on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. These are a means of promoting good relationships, so that people can work together with the common purpose of helping everyone to learn. These values are displayed below and permeate everything we do:
We are kind, helpful and polite We do our best We are honest We share We are peacemakers We forgive others We take care of everything, and everyone
The school expects every member of the school community to behave in a considerate way towards others and by following these set of values.
Buckingham Park Church of England Combined School is a Voluntary Aided School serving the whole community. We aim to provide the highest quality all round education, for each and every child, in partnership with parents, within the context of a Christian community. In short, we aim to embed our vision of ‘Excellence, through God who strengthens us’ to support pupils being excellent people, living our school values in everyday life beyond their years at primary school.
The Collective Worship policy at Buckingham Park Church of England Combined School reflects the school’s Trust Deed, and has taken account of the guidance offered by the Diocese of Oxford.
Collective Worship reflects the mission statement and 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 (known as ‘Worship Time’) aims to provide the opportunity for pupils and staff to: - worship God and reflect on Christian values; - experience a variety of styles of worship; - celebrate together e.g. festivals, school values, individual achievements; - develop a reflective approach to living which encourages understanding of and invitation to prayer; - look beyond the physical, material and measurable; - consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs; - build a sense of community/foster corporate identity; - participate and respond, through active involvement in the planning, leading, presentation and evaluation of worship; - feel safe and affirmed in doing any of the above.
‘Collective Worship’ is a time when the whole school or groups within the school meet together to engage in relevant, meaningful experiences, providing opportunities for the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
By law, Collective Worship must: - take place each day for every child not withdrawn by their parents; - reflect the school’s Trust Deed;
Collective Worship at Buckingham Park will reflect the traditions of worship within the Church of England, whilst being invitational, inclusive and valuing of people from all backgrounds and positions of faith.
The Contribution of Collective Worship to aspects of the Curriculum
The Governing Body is responsible for the provision of Collective Worship, supported by and in consultation with the Headteacher. The following arrangements exist to co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate Collective Worship: i.The headteacher draws up a rota for leading Collective Worship and themes for each week. ii.The headteacher observes at least 6 acts of Collective Worship (from a range of formats) per term to ensure that they comply with school policy and the law. iii.Teacher, pupil and, where appropriate, parental views are collected annually to evaluate the quality and impact of Collective Worship and to identify ways in which it might be improved. iv.Governors are invited to attend Collective Worship as part of their regular visits to school
Collective worship takes place in the school hall or the classroom. It generally occurs at the start of the school day, but occasionally will occur at other times. It is always designed to promote thinking beyond the time given to worship itself.
Organisation and Leadership
Collective worship involves members of the school coming together and participating in an assembly each day. An assembly may involve all of the pupils in the school, separate key stage or class assemblies. The time of the assembly may vary.
Every member of the school staff, pupils, the Vicar of St James’ Church and occasional visitors will be involved in leading acts of worship at some point in the school year.
During the whole school assembly staff are encouraged to take part in order to promote a sense of community. In each assembly there will be a short time given to reflect on the stimulus. To focus attention a candle might be lit, a picture or image displayed, a poem read etc.
Singing- The act of singing can be a very positive opportunity for celebration or reflection. The selection of songs will respect the integrity of those present. In order to comply with the law, singing assemblies will include an opportunity for pupils to reflect on some of the words they are singing and to respond through a moment of quietness or prayer in an atmosphere that is one of reverence.
Collective Worship Weekly Timetable Assemblies are normally conducted by the Headteacher, deputy head or other members of Staff, but are sometimes led by visitors to the school (e.g. the vicar of St James’ Church).
Collective Worship in school
Collective Worship generally follows the pattern below, but this is subject to changes in priorities or key world or local events.
Monday - Singing Worship including a focus on key songs and themes Tuesday - KS1 Phase Worship/KS2 Reflect sessions in classes Wednesday - Open the Book (a focus on stories from the Bible) lead by classes and children throughout the school. Thursday - KS2 Phase Worship/KS1 Reflect sessions in classes. Friday - 'Excellence' Worship lead by the Headteacher
Planning Acts of Collective Worship
The content of all acts of Collective Worship is considered carefully to ensure relevance and suitability for the ages, aptitudes and backgrounds of all pupils.
Termly planning sheets list themes, special occasions and events, but there is flexibility to allow the inclusion of current and topical issues. Weekly planning and recording sheets enable the monitoring and evaluation of acts of worship.
Visitors are welcome to lead Collective Worship from time to time and are given guidance on our worship policy. Leaders from faiths within the area help us to increase the pupils’ awareness, promote respect and raise the esteem of the pupils who belong to these faiths.
The content of an assembly may reflect any of the following: •marking the celebration of a broad range of religious and cultural festivals that reflect a diversity of faiths •examples of lives of people of faith and other good human beings •stories supporting themes from a range of sources and cultures •response to key local, national and international events •providing an opportunity to think about their own beliefs •putting things into practice e.g. supporting charities •providing a moment for silent reflection/prayer •celebration of successes of members of the school community •performances or presentations from members of the school community •input from visiting speakers
The act of collective worship
We use a variety of styles, active and interactive methods and a range of in our acts of Collective Worship. Leaders make decisions about these elements according to what is most appropriate to the content, the ages, aptitudes and the backgrounds of the pupils.
Prayer is usually included in our acts of worship. It is introduced with a form of words that invites but does not coerce pupils to participate (for example: ‘ I am going to say a prayer. If you want to make this your own prayer you may join in by saying ‘Amen’, or you may choose just to listen to the words’). Our prayers are addressed to Jesus and ‘God’ reflecting the traditions and practices of the Church of England. We hope that pupils who prefer not to pray will use these moments to reflect on the important messages shared in our worship
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.
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 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.