Collective Worship at St Robert Bellarmine
“Worship is concerned with the reverence or veneration paid to a divine being or power” (Circular1/94)
“Worship is concerned with the honour and glory of God”
“The Catholic school must provide an experience of a living and worshipping community”
(The Easter People)
“Distinctive to a Catholic school should be its attitude as a community to prayer and worship....as a spontaneous response to life and to learning....Pupils and staff should find ways of articulating and making their own response to God both in private prayer and in public worship.”
(Towards a Civilisation of Love)
What is Collective Worship?
Collective Worship is an educational activity or experience
To which all can contribute
From which all can gain
It is central to education in our school an forms an essential part of the school’s overall provision for prayer and worship.
Collective Worship in our school respects the diversity of belief and commitment, but it is Catholic in character, reflecting in the liturgical tradition of the Church and having Christ at its heart.
Worship in our school will be of a different character from worship amongst a group with beliefs in common.
The aim of collective worship at St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary School is best characterised by the above statements. We seek to provide opportunities, formally and informally, for pupils, staff and sometimes parents, to worship together. Pupils are encouraged to participate and respond, either actively in the presentation of worship or by listening and joining in the celebration.
The worship will be Catholic in character, reflecting the tradition of the Church and will have Christ at its heart.
All pupils will celebrate an act of collective worship each day, the timing of which will be at the discretion of the class teacher.
Generally, there will be two occasions each week when larger groups, usually whole school, will gather together to worship.
Collective worship will normally take place in various areas throughout the school, but occasionally, for specific reasons, children may gather in church to celebrate.
There may also be occasions during school visits, day or residential, when an act of worship would be appropriate.
There are timetabled opportunities for classes to celebrate a class assembly on a chosen theme which is presented to children, staff and parents throughout the year.
Why Collective Worship?
Collective Worship in our school provides opportunities for learners and staff to come together to worship God.
To reflect on spiritual and moral beliefs
To reflect on personal beliefs
To respond to and celebrate life
To enable and encourage a sense of belonging
To reinforce positive attitudes
To mark us as special
To come to terms with
To give worth to
To wonder at
To build a firm foundation for liturgy
To contemplate something of the Mystery of God
To take time out
To develop a community spirit
To enrich the religious experience of children and staff
To encourage a common ethos and shared values
In developing worship which leads pupils to consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs we seek to:
enrich the religious experience of pupils and staff;
include opportunities for individual reflection and silent prayer;
provide opportunities for reflection on spiritual and moral issues;
stimulate reflection on personal beliefs;
contribute to the liturgical formation of pupils.
In developing worship, which encourages participation and response, we seek to:
provide worship which is appropriate in its content, form, organisation, presentation and leadership;
take account of the age, ability and background of the pupils;
encourage participation by, and response from, staff and pupils;
develop a sense of community;
promote a common ethos and shared values;
reinforce positive attitudes;
develop appropriate resources
The children also help to plan, prepare and deliver Collective Worships. Photographs from our Collective Worships can be seen below and will be built up over the year.
As part of Friendship Fortnight, the Year 5 children helped to deliver a special Collective Worship to the rest of the school. They thought carefully about how to deliver the message that friendship is a special bond and that it is important to forgive friends when they may have hurt you. They also created their own acrostic poems and decorated a friendship tree and used these to create part of their focus table.