Religious Education and Collective Worship

We always strive to 'promote educational excellence everywhere, for everyone “ inline with the Church of England's vision and emphasise the importance of 'spiritual, physical, intellectual, moral, emotional and social development and 'Life in all it's fullness (John 10:10)' which is why our vision focusses on the importance of community, meeting together, becoming agents of change and achieving our God given potential. Throughout our curriculum we permeate the Church of England's vision for the development of:
  • Wisdom, knowledge and skills;
  • Hope and aspiration;
  • Community and living together well and
  • Dignity and respect.
 
 
What are Christian values ?
As a Church of England School we have fifteen Christian Values which are derived from the teachings of Jesus and taught by Christians throughout the history of religion. Through our Religious Education curriculum and worships we will explore all of these values. However, our two main Christian Values from our vision are: community and love. 
 
Development of our values in school 
As a result of pupil voice discussions (Collective Worship Crew) pupils felt that the initial decision in 2017 to make the values more friendly was working, but could they create some of their own too? In September 2018, pupils created their own symbols for the Christian Values of 'wisdom, creation, peace, hope and koinonia'.

All year groups throughout school then explored the 'big questions' in relation to each Christian Value and linked each value to a Bible story and a quote from the Bible. Thus ensuring each value was 'grounded in a clear theology, firmly rooted in a Christian narrative' (SIAMS 2018).

With KS2, we then explored how each Christian Value related to our social, moral, spiritual and cultural development as enabling each child of God to flourish and thrive is central to our vision. A booklet with all of these developments can be found in school. 

 

Please follow the link to find out more about Christian Values:

Christian Values for Schools

 

Religious education curriculum 

At Warkworth C of E Primary we use a combination of the syllabus from Diocese of Newcastle and Durham for world faiths and Understanding Christianity. 

 

Aims of Understanding Christianity 

  • To enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living world faith, by exploring core theological concepts.
  • To enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills in making sense of biblical texts and understanding their impact in the lives of Christians.
  • To develop pupils' abilities to connect, critically reflect upon, evaluate and apply their learning to their own growing understanding of religion and belief (particularly Christianity), of themselves, the world and human experience.
 
As a result of implementing Understanding Christianity (summer 2018) we also reviewed as a staff the importance of spiritual development throughout the curriculum.  From these discussions, we have now embedded the following approaches across the whole curriculum. 
 
 

Understanding Spirituality at Warkworth Church of England Primary School

At Warkworth C of E Primary school we believe that spiritual development is not necessarily or exclusively religious but is the development of children’s mind, body and spirit. ‘Spirituality is generally viewed as enriching individuals in their understanding of and ability to relate to, others and as a society as whole (SCAA 96).

 

Our approach

Our vision as a Church of England school focuses on the holistic development of each and every child of God; enabling all pupils to flourish and reach their God given potential. Therefore, we have adopted  David Smith’s approach across the whole curriculum and actively provide opportunities for our children to reflect, think deeply, fully appreciate the world around them and be agents of change in their school, the community and as global citizens.  Each RE lesson, worship and topic covered in school always begins with the children’s ‘big questions’ and then we use the doors, window and mirrors approach.

 

Doors, window and mirrors

Windows: Opportunities to look out on the world to gaze and wonder: to discuss the wow moments and the things we find amazing.

Encounter: The learning about life

Mirrors: Providing pupils the opportunities to reflect, to look inward to consider some of the big questions of life: To explore their own insights and those of others.

Reflection: The learning from.

Doors: Giving opportunities to children to respond, to do something to go through the door of a creative expression of their own thoughts and convictions.

Transformation/ Courageous advocacy: The learning to live by putting into action what they believe.

 

Please follow the links below to find out more about our RE curriculum:

Understanding Christianity

RE Curriculum

A copy of our planning for RE can be found at the bottom of the page as well as an overview of David Smith's approach to spirituality.

 

Worship 
 

Vision

Our shared vision is for everyone to ‘motivate one another’ and become agents of change ‘through acts of love and good works’. ‘And let us not neglect meeting together’ (Hebrews 10 24-25) as our community is central to enabling pupils to thrive and achieve their God given potential. At Warkworth C of E Primary we # Strive together as one (Philippians 1:27).

 

How has our vision shaped collective worship?

At Warkworth C of E Primary school our shared vision which is deeply rooted in Christian theology and has shaped our collective worship and everyone strives to ensure our worship is inclusive, invitational and inspiring; meeting the needs of the whole school community.  

 

At Warkworth C of E Primary school, collective worship is pivotal to everyone in school and it is used to live out our vision and ‘motivate one another… into acts of love and good works (Hebrews 10 24:25). We believe it is vital that we don’t ‘neglect meeting together’ (Hebrews 10 24:25) as our community is central to enabling everyone to achieve their God given potential. Therefore, experiences reflected upon during collective worship are integral to everyone’s spiritual growth.

 

Worship structure

Our collective worship provides everyone the opportunity to

  •  worship God;
  •  live out our Christian vision, that is deeply rooted in the Bible;
  •  encounter the teachings of Jesus and the Bible;
  •  appreciate the relevance and impact of faith in today’s world;
  •  experience a variety of styles of worship;
  •  develop an understanding of the Christian belief in the Trinitarian nature of God;
  •  grow in understanding of and participation in prayer;
  •  develop a reflective and spiritual approach to life and reflect on the Christian values;    
  • feel safe and affirmed.
    • Christian festivals;
    • Local and national Saints;
    • Character education;
    • Christian values;

The daily act of collective worship at Warkworth C of E Primary is inclusive, invitational and inspiring and led by our community vision. At Warkworth C of E Primary we # Strive together as one (Philippians 1:27) with our community and God.

 

Worship

At Warkworth C of E Primary school we use a four-part model and we use this model because it is shaped by our Christian vision:

 

Gather - All worship starts with a gathering, which includes a greeting and a preparation. We come together as a community and put ourselves into the right physical and mental space to engage spiritually. This part of worship may include a hymn or song.

At Warkworth C of E Primary we believe we must not neglect the importance of meeting  together  daily. This could be inside or outside or as part of Forest School. Pupils are always  there to welcome each other into worship, there is always calm music playing and a candle is lit to represent the light of Christ. We always greet each other in the same way and understand that we are preparing to meet God and we want to come together as a community. On our worship table the Christian value of the week will also be displayed and a coloured cloth to represent the Church year.

 

Engage - Then we move to a time of engagement, which might include reflection on a Christian value, Christian tradition or practice, or a piece of scripture and its relevance for us today. The essential element of this is learning something of God’s loving purpose for us from the Christian perspective.

We are listening for God’s message for us and as part of worship there will always be time to ask our ‘big questions’ and time to talk about how we can share God’s message with others. Our vision focuses on the importance of ‘‘motivating one another’ and becoming agents of change ‘through acts of love and good works’ (Hebrews 10 24:25).

 

Respond - Then we respond with prayers which relate to the subject of our engagement and should include both thanksgiving and intercession. At Warkworth C of E Primary school we provide pupils time to respond to what they have heard and seen. We use singing, prayer and reflection to enable pupils to respond; this may be done as individuals, small groups or as a whole school community.

 

Sending – We then conclude with a sending by saying The Grace. At the end of worship, we are sent out to love and to serve one another and to make a difference in the world ‘motivating others… into acts of love and good works’ (Hebrews 10 24:25). We are all dismissed with God’s blessing and we may leave singing, quietly, silently or with a community challenge linked to our school vision # We strive together as one (Philippians 1:27).

 

Christian

All acts of worship throughout the week have a Bible story or Bible passage at their heart. Key ideas and key teachings from Christianity are always the focus. The intention is that the ideas should be developed with this in mind. At Warkworth C of E Primary school we do explore other faith traditions from around the world; however, we explore these through RE or in celebration event rather than during an act of Christian worship. In this way, the celebrations and practices of everyone can be valued and shared appropriately.

 

Denominational

Elements of Anglican liturgy have been incorporated into the framework in the form of blessings and a variety of prayers. The shape of the Church’s Year is also reflected throughout the terms as follows:

-Term 1 – Harvest

-Term 2 – Advent and Christmas

-Term 3 – Epiphany and Lent

-Term 4 – Easter

-Term 5 – Pentecost

Each term also includes a number of saints and notable Christians whose commemoration days fall during the particular period according to the Church’s calendar.

 

When is collective worship?

Worship is 10- 10.15 am every morning so that everyone has the opportunity without compulsion, to grow spiritually through experiences of prayer, stillness, worship and reflection.  This emphasizes the importance of unity as a school community and part of our vision ‘let us not neglect meeting together’ (Hebrews 10 24:25).

 

Collective worship plan

Monday - Reverend O’Sullivan from St Lawrence’s Church.

Tuesday – It’s a class worship and is focused on a Prayer Space, which allows pupils and adults to explore faith, spirituality and life’s big questions. These are led by class teachers.

The second Tuesday of every month Open the Book (members of the local Church community) come into school and bring Bible stories to life.

Wednesday – Led by Mrs Coils, this whole school collective worship focuses on appreciating that Christians worship in different ways, for example using music, story and reflection.

Thursday – Led by Mrs Ritson, this whole school collective worship focuses on helping pupils and adults to appreciate the relevance of faith in today’s world through our vision and # We strive together as one challenges (Philippians 1:27).

Friday- Led by class teachers in the classroom, this collective worship focuses on character education, the achievements of everyone and Bible scripture.

 

Pupil led collective worship

Every half term each year group takes it in turns to lead a collective worship for the school community which stems from our school vision. In addition to this, social action groups such as Eco Club and School Council also lead worship on a half termly basis.

The children also lead and attend Church services throughout the year, including: a carol service, Harvest Festival, Easter celebrations and a leavers service.

 

Evaluation of worship

At Warkworth C of E Primary school our collective worship is reviewed on a weekly basis by pupils using evaluation/ feedback sheets. The head teacher also observes worship regularly as part of performance management and offers support and CPD where needed. The Collective Worship Crew also meet half termly to discuss developments in worship and this self-evaluation is also used to develop collective worship.

 

 

 

*From September 2018, all examples of worship and photos of activities are now on Dojo on a weekly basis for all parents to see.
 
 
 
The Christian Value of Friendship - The story of Zacchaeus - led by visitor - Mr. David Charnock
The Christian Value of Forgiveness  - The Story of the Prodigal Son - led by visitor Mr.David Charnock

We thought about different words we say... sorry, thankyou, please... we thought about which of these words may be the hardest to say.

Remembrance Day

We celebrated Remembrance Day together. After the children had painted their 'poppy' stones, we held our worship in the Forever Friendly garden.

We thought about what the poppies represented and the many brave women and men who have fought, and those who are still fighting today.

We held our stones to help us think whilst we had a one minute silence. We then said a prayer before laying our stones around the base of the cross.

Christmas

 

The children practised and performed Nativity Plays. Parents, grandparents and friends were invited to come along.

Through the experience the children learned about the very first Christmas and how Christmas is celebrated and remembered now.

The nativity play by the children in Key Stages 1 and 2 was called “Baubles” and was held in St. Lawrence’s Church, Warkworth.

The nativity play by the children in The Early Years was called “Whoopsa Daisy Angel” and was held in the school hall.

Worship 
 

January - Thankfulness - The Story of the Exodus –              Moses leading God’s People into Freedom -                               led by visitor Sally Milner.                                                        We all joined in with the welcome response at the beginning. We thought about things we were thankful for. Sally then told us a story about a man who had just been released from prison and was returning home. We then had the opportunity to reflect ….What would the man be most looking forward to? Sally then told the bible story of when God told Moses to take his people into freedom….we thought about what the people may have been thankful for. Personal reflection ….we then drew/wrote something on a post-it which we were personally thankful for. These were to be added to the school “Thankful Wall”.

February - Forgiveness – The Selfish Giant – by Oscar Wilde - led by Margaret Hobrough.

We all joined in with the welcome response at the beginning. Margaret introduced her puppet Jake to us all…and she said she had asked Jake to forgive her for forgetting to bring him along to school the last time she had visited. Margaret then told the story of The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde. The children were encouraged to reflect on the idea of forgiveness. Everyone joined in with the song…”Build Me”…..by Fischy Music. Margaret then said a prayer about forgiveness….before leading the children in a prayer song to end.