At St Clare's, children learn how to be actively involved in acts of worship from an early age. This involvement progresses as the children move through the school, with older children planning and leading their own acts of worship, both in their own classrooms, and for wider audiences, like parents and members of the wider school community.
Please see the Child- Led Liturgy guidance (above) for more information.
The practise of the Roman Catholic faith is fundamental to the life of the school. This guides and directs all our activities in relation to worship and assembly, the content of RE lessons, spiritual and moral development. It is at the heart of everything we do and our anchor.
We believe that Collective Worship in our school aims to provide opportunity for all pupils and staff:
- To contemplate something of the mystery of God
- To reflect on spiritual and moral issues
- To explore their own beliefs
- To respond to and celebrate life
- To experience a sense of belonging and develop community spirit
- To develop a common ethos and shared values
- To enrich religious experience
- To grow in liturgical understanding and development
- To reinforce prayers which are part of the Catholic tradition
- To reinforce positive attitudes
- To participate fully
- To take time out ‘to wonder at’, ‘to come to terms with’ and ‘to give worth to.’
Please see our Religious Education and Catholic Life policy for further details.
We acknowledge the legal requirement that there must be a daily act of worship for all pupils. (This can take place at any time during the school day and can be either a single act of worship for all pupils, or separate acts of worship in school groups.) We understand that simply holding an assembly that includes a prayer, said either by the teacher or everyone present, does not fulfil this requirement. We also acknowledge that collective worship and assembly are distinct activities. They may sometimes form part of the same gathering, but the difference between the two will always be made clear.
The act of worship is not designated curriculum time under regulations and will not be subsumed under any part of the curriculum, including Religious Education.
As a rule, acts of worship will take place on the school premises. However, the governing body has the discretion to allow acts of worship to be held elsewhere e.g. church, “on a special occasion”.
We endorse the belief that Collective Worship takes into account the religious and educational needs of all who share in it:
- Those who form part of the worshipping community in church
- Those for whom school may be their first and only experience of church
- Those from other Christian traditions – or none
- Those from other faith backgrounds.
- It will be an educational activity or experience to which all can contribute and from which all can gain.
- Worship in this school is more than just a legal requirement. It is an integral part of school life and central to the Catholic tradition.
All Acts of Worship in this school will:
- give glory and honour to God.
- be a quality activity, fundamental to the life of the school and its Catholic character.
- give children positive liturgical experiences, appropriate to their age, aptitude and family
- backgrounds in order to prepare them for the liturgical life of the Church.
In order to do this, celebrations will:
- be kept small wherever possible or appropriate to help to personalise the experience.
- be short and appropriately paced (children’s attention span lasts in any one activity
- for an average of one minute per year of life i.e., 5-6 minutes for Key Stage 1 and 7-10 minutes for Key Stage 2).
- be simple, including a range of experiences offered in a variety of groupings and in a variety of settings.
At St Clare’s, Collective Worship will be celebrated in the following way:
Monday: Rec/Y1/Y2/Y3/Y4/Y5/Y6 Class Collective Worship based on the Gospel reading from the previous day’s Mass.
Tuesday: Rec/Y1/Y2/Y3/Y4/Y5/Y6 Class Collective Worship based on the readings of the day or based on appropriate theme of the day of season.
Wednesday: KS2 worship led by teachers on a rota, based on current whole-school Virtue. Rec/Y1/Y2 Class Collective Worship.
Thursday: Reception and KS1 worship led by teachers on a rota, based on current whole-school virtue. Y3/Y4/Y5 and Y6 Class Collective Worship.
Friday: Whole school worship based on the Sunday Gospel, lead by members of SLT on a rota and Celebration Assembly.
There will also be opportunities for celebration of the Mass, retreats, meditation and the focus on different types of prayer.
Collective Worship is planned:
- following a structure with reference to the Church’s seasons, The Way, The Truth and the Life themes and significant dates and the curriculum. Scripture will be the focus in most acts of worship
- involving consultation with appropriate parties and reference to school aims and policies
- with flexibility to respond to changing situations within the school and the wider community
- to develop in pupils’ skills that enable them to prepare, organise and lead worship rather than always participating or contributing in a token way.
Collective Worship is recorded:
- on a worship planner to keep note of themes, leaders, pupil groupings and resources
- through displays, collections of pupils’ contributions, prayers, reflections, photographs, videos etc.
- The Religious and educational needs of all children will be addressed whether they are of a Catholic faith or not
- Worship will help all children grow spiritually and help them develop in self-esteem.
- Teachers will be responsible for planning and the delivery of Collective Worship taking into account additional educational needs in accordance with the school SEN policy.
Daily morning, before/after lunch, end of the day prayers.
During Advent and Lent, additional opportunities for prayer and worship are provided and we pray the Rosary during the months of October and May (see below). During these special times of the Church's year, children have the opportunity to take home 'prayer bags' with items in that help to tell the story of the season and give them the chance to pray at home with their parents.
The children are also given the opportunity for confession with our priest, when appropriate.
The children regularly take part in Mass both in school and within the parish, every half term. These Masses include: a Welcome Mass, Harvest, All Saints, Advent, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Leavers, as well as celebrating Holy Days of obligation etc. The parish and parents are warmly invited to all acts of worship and these will be advertised on the school's newsletter and within the parish newsletter. Liturgies also feature throughout the year, such as Remembrance.
During Advent, the children have an opportunity to take home a prayer bag of things that will help them focus their thoughts and prayers at this special time. It includes ideas for children and parents, and offers an opportunity for them to record their reflections.
Our Lady, Mary
During the month of October, each class has a 'Travelling Rosary' bag. This has a set of rosary beads and prayer cards and each child in the class can have a turn to take it home and pray with their family if they wish. Full instructions are inside.