The Impact of Collective Worship
Inclusive, invitational, inspiring, outward-looking worship is a daily priority of the school. It is a natural, constantly evolving and meaningful part of our life here at St. Anne’s, which significantly supports our vision ‘Minds to Learn, Hearts to Care’ in its contribution to the culture and distinctly Christian character of the school. The frequency and timings of collective worship is secure; timetables and policy statements confirm that all the fundamentals and essential requirements are met, that they reflect Anglican traditions and practices and relate well to our local church.
Collective Worship is coordinated by the School Chaplain. Accompanied by her Staff Handbook for Worship, it is planned on an annual, monthly and weekly basis, then reviewed and evaluated in half termly meetings with the school, the St. Anne’s Youth Mission Team and Reverend Keddilty who provides theological input and guidance on planning and delivery. A variety of resources are used (eg Leicester Together in Worship, Jumping Fish, Flippin Praise) as a springboard to bespoke our worship planning and to ensure it includes a variety of traditional and modern elements, with music, singing, stories, role play, videos, drama making it creative, inspiring and interactive. Worship themes introduce week- long topics which are diversified as the week progresses and built upon in smaller acts of worship. This allows pupils to cement their knowledge and gives them time to reflect in and out of the worship environment, particularly through class worship. Biblical themes encourage thought and action; monthly themes support pupils’ understanding of the school’s chosen values to develop moral and social attitudes and attributes and enhance opportunities for spiritual development, with links established between the calendar of major Christian festivals. Worship has a distinctive Christian character, but inclusive of all faiths and non, incorporates stories from other traditions, so that all children’s views and values are recognised and respected.
Worship has different forms to ensure it is as engaging and influential as possible with whole school theme -setting on Monday led by the Chaplain, followed by separate key stage worship with all teachers and a second full school worship led by SLT Reverend Matt or visiting clergy. Intimate class worships unpick the theme further on Thursday, before celebration and praise later in the week. Each member of the staff team leads worship whether whole school, separate key stage or class-based. Weekly delivery by senior leaders, class teachers, Reverend Matt and the St. Anne’s Youth Mission Team bring different Christian experiences and a variety of idea and style to the messages given. Local clergy representing different denominations provide a rich experience of different Christian traditions and regular guest visitors are welcomed to add interest.
Pupils are invited to contribute, either through their instigation or via planned opportunities to hare their understanding on a level at which they feel comfortable. Each of the eight pupil voice groups plans and leads worship rotationally throughout the terms on a weekly cycle, with guidance from the Chaplain to research and present the group’s current theme, linking it to the Values and building in reflection time, prayer and a biblical link. In addition, every child participates in their Class Family Worship on a timetabled cycle during the school year, having the scope to plan, share ideas, then lead. These are based on one of the Values linked to a ‘faith in action’ project, for example the focus for year 4 was Toilet Twinning, whilst year 3 addressed Fairtrade. This brings teaching into modern relevance.
Major festivals in the Church year are celebrated by the whole school community in special acts of worship, both in Church and in school (Christmas, Christingle, Education Sunday, Mothering Sunday, Easter, Harvest). Chaplain and pupils lead the congregation, supported by the school choir. One memorable worship led by Reverend Keddilty is that of Remembrance, accompanied by a Prayer Space provided by his Church Youth Ministry Team.
Our school, being a church school, has very close links with both St Anne’s and St Andrew’s Church. We have the privilege of holding all our Christmas Festivities inside the wonderful building of St Andrew’s Church. It gives the children the opportunity to sing at full volume and fill the church with the sound of young voices praising God in his house.
Confirmation enables those who were baptised as infants to affirm their own faith in God and is the Church of England’s way of welcoming young people and adults into full communicant membership of the Church.
Pupils are taught a variety of prayers and Christian affirmations including familiar Anglican language and responses, with readings from liturgical texts appropriately presented. Older pupils can articulate the different aspects of the Trinity and over time younger children are developing their knowledge of the concept. Prayer plays a large role in worship. Worship leaders draw pupils to listen, but leave time for stillness and reflection, often linked to a personal challenge that the children can relate to in their everyday life in school and beyond, and a period of silence to consolidate understanding. All pupils, whatever their faith, participate with respect. Thankful and thoughtful prayer helps children to reflect on what has happened and to focus on what is to come, particularly at the beginning and end of the day. Pupils use a range of traditional and school-designed prayer but also show confidence to deliver self- written prayer in different situations.
The first edition of the School Prayer Book, with children’s questions for God, was published and shared with families and the church. The second edition focusing on our values, is based on the re-write of the School Prayer. Our termly Prayer Space events, also linked to values, explore ‘Big Questions’. They take place in a range of indoor and outdoor venues and are planned and run by Reverend Matt, the Church Youth Mission Group and the Chaplaincy Team with interactive, child-led stations.
The Chaplaincy Team was invited by the Diocese to a PD session for clergy to stage a Prayer Space event at Cuthbert House to demonstrate the impact in a primary school setting. Our Prayer Spaces have also been highlighted as Good Practice in the Growing Faith project.
The mobile altar provides a focal point for worship, with its cross, candle and Bible on display, as memorable symbols to guide pupils in their reverence. The Chaplaincy Team’s Notice Board is changed monthly in response to the focus value and reflects the seasonal liturgical colour. The hall mural, ‘Jesus Light of the World Shine Upon Us’ was a joint project with a local artist, towards which every child made a pictorial contribution, forming a point of reference in depicting our planet’s natural world and providing opportunities to appreciate the wonder of God’s creation. The development of a resource bank additionally enhances the impact of collective worship, with investment from the Chaplain’s budget to acquire visual artefacts to create a sense of awe. Each classroom has a focal area with an interactive prayer table and Worship Board to remind the children that worship continues in class. Christian symbols, their meaning and relevance are recognised by pupils, being introduced within worship topics and then translated into classroom display and practice. Symbols, prayers and responses introduce pupils to the format and routines of traditional church worship, giving them points of familiarity when in services outside of school. The Prayer and Memorial Garden is used on a daily basis for any pupil requiring peace or a place to reflect and is always one of the locations for our Prayer Space events.
Parish and Local Community
School leaders work directly with the local parish which views St. Anne’s as a vital part of the church’s wider community. We have extremely strong links between school and St. Anne’s and St. Andrew’s churches through our shared vision for school and parish, which greatly supports our collective worship provision. Virtual collective worships with links to other ‘faith at home’ resources were sent out weekly by the Chaplain and the Church Team for pupils educated on and off-site during the coronavirus outbreak, together with ‘Table Talk’ to prompt prayers at home- a standing item in our weekly newsletter. Regular opportunities are created to allow the wider community to access worship, both in school and at Church.
Members of St. Anne’s and St. Andrew’s churches, as well as parents, friends and relatives are welcomed into school for worship at special events throughout the year. We encourage congregations from both churches to become involved in school life by holding events, such as an ISING Pop service at St. Andrew’s Church, at which parents, relatives and friends joined with members of the church congregation to celebrate. A second, postponed twice due to Covid), has been rescheduled for Spring 2022. At another significant shared worship to celebrate One World Week, a joint service was held at St. Anne’s Church, accompanied by the school Prayer Space display materials, which were subsequently given to the Methodist Church to complement the work of its Climate Action Group. The school also supports St. Anne’s/ St. Andrew’s Mission and Ministry Team by taking part in local community projects and our pupils are frequent visitors to St. Andrew’s and St. Anne’s, to enhance the RE curriculum. The school also enjoys lasting partnerships with a number of other faith Churches in the locality, meaning that the respective reverends are frequent visitors to the school to lead worship. It also provides a springboard for other shared projects, such as ‘Open the Book’.
The Chaplaincy Worship Leaders
The Chaplaincy Team lead worship on a planned cycle. The first of these for the current year was to launch the second edition of the School Prayer Book (October 2021)
Another aspect of the Chaplaincy Team’s remit is to conduct classroom consultations with a worship focus. The Team then supports the Chaplain in influencing the choice of music and adjusting a worship environment and style which is engaging and interactive. Pupils have, via pupil voice, suggested many things they enjoy: lighting the candle to begin worship, organising music and presentations, leading drama, reading Bible passages, hot-seating, leading prayer. One recent example prior to pandemic restrictions of innovation initiated by the team was the ‘Puppet Ministry’
In its capacity as a ‘Growing Faith’ lead school, St. Anne’s is piloting the ‘Bishop’s School and Church Partnership’ Award. The school has also been asked to help to write and test a new resource with the local Diocesan team- ‘Looking Up’, based on child-led worship, which is being rolled out to the wider Diocese and beyond as a Growing Faith Resource. Certificates were awarded to recognise the group’s contribution as young worship leaders. There is an increasing emphasis on ‘children’s voice’ in the C of E National Strategy which we see as one of our strengths both in school and with our Diocese via the Children’s Council, of which there are only two in the country. Two pupils from the Chaplaincy Team sat on this council in 2020 whilst in Y6 at St. Anne’s and a current Year 6 pupil is active on the Council in the 2021-22 Academic Year.
Vision & Leadership
Jesus and the Children
International Day of Peace
Minds to Learn, Hearts to Care
One World Prayer
Hope and Future at St Anne’s Church
We would love to take some children from the choir to sing as part of the service and there are opportunities for others to read poems or prayers.
Letter for Mothering Sunday
All children in school last week attended Worship with Rev Matt on Trust which is one of our school values. The children learnt the meaning of Trust and especially enjoyed the dancing!
During the Winter Festival in Bishop Auckland last weekend at the onset of Storm Arwen, lots of Christmas Trees were safely tucked away inside St Anne’s Church. Near the front, St Anne’s School proudly had their Christmas Tree on display. As we had been looking at the school value of Peace during November, it felt right to cover our tree in doves of varying design. At the heart of Christmas is peace, and it is something we strive to have more of in our own lives, but also something we wish for around the world. We hope that some of you had to see it, the church looked wonderful!
On Wednesday 10 November, Rev Matt came into school to lead us in a time of Remembrance. He got us to think about how we remember things either by using a diary, a calendar, or having our Mums tell us. We saw some of Rev Matt’s medals from serving in the army, and thought about all of those who had fought for peace and those who still do. The children were so respectful and fabulously engaged throughout. Thank you Rev Matt for leading our Remembrance Worship.
The week before half-term, in the lead up to Remembrance Day 2021 we were invited to create artwork to display in the local shopping centre to honour the service and sacrifice of all those who have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.
Our children are the youngest children in school being only 3 to 5 years old but show great understanding and empathy when talking about Remembrance. We use the book ‘Where The Poppies Now Grow’, Hilary Robinson & Martin Impey, to illustrate childhood in the time of war. The story, set during the First World War, takes readers on a journey of friendship as Ben and Ray find their childhood games become real as the Great War rages around them. The story ends in a time of peace with Ben and Ray as old men, war veterans in a place where the poppies now grow.
Each child used their chosen media and tools to design and create a variety of poppies, resulting in each one being different and unique. The poppies are presented in The Newgate Centre on The Forces Support window and will remain there until after the 11th November.
Our children have created amazing artwork and were delighted to see the end result on our IWB. The eight Nursery and Reception children who joined us at the unveiling were a credit to their parents and to St Anne’s, they were polite, enthusiastic and very well behaved making us feel very proud.
Early Years Prayer Space
We were fortunate to have Alison from St Anne’s Church join us on Thursday morning for some Prayer Space activities. We explored the theme of Remembrance and Peace with the children from Nursery and Reception. The children heard about why we have the poppy as a symbol to remember and then took part in lots of poppy bridges with big blocks, made poppies out of play dough and rice and had lots of fun.
On Wednesday Alison, Rev Matt and the team from St Anne’s Church came in to do some Prayer Space activities with Years 1-6.
The children all asked BIG questions, thought about the people most special to them, said sorry for the things they shouldn’t have done, blew their worries up to God in bubble form, and also had lots of fun.
Our Church Gallery
Each school term we will add collective worship themes to our website.
School Year 2019-2020
School Year 2017-2018
School Year 2016-2007
School Year 2015-2016
School Year 2014-2015
Have a look at some of the wonderful things we do at our school by viewing the galleries below:
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, before Easter Sunday.
Harvest 2016 – Promise Card
Prayer Space Day 2017
iSing pop (May 2015)
Time Capsule (Laying the Foundation stone)
Confirmation Photos (May 2015)
Harvest Mad Day 2013
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