Worship within a school is different from worship in a faith community. ‘Collective’ implies a diversity of belief. Collective worship should therefore be inclusive of all. It should celebrate the highest common values of a community without compromising the integrity of individuals and minorities. Collective worship is an extremely important and valuable experience and so needs to be well managed and have clear objectives.
At The Pingle Academy the purposes of collective worship are:
- to provide opportunities for personal reflection on the spiritual dimension of life
- to add significance and meaning to the daily lives of students
- to foster a sense of community and shared values.
Collective worship is designed to:
- share the Christian vision of human experience and to share other expressions (secular and religious) of these values
- explore Christian beliefs
- promote a thought provoking atmosphere allowing for spiritual reflection and response
- enable students to practise certain skills such as being still, listening and participating in collective worship
- provide opportunities for pupils to respond to specific accounts of religious experience and to engage in or observe religious activities.
Collective worship must be relevant to the needs of the students and must be respectful of student and staff integrity. No one is expected to express views and feelings that they do not have. It is also important that students are aware of the purpose of collective worship. Collective worship should be an occasion separate from all other school activities.
Spiritual and Moral Development
Collective worship should develop spiritual awareness through the sharing of common human experiences allowing students the opportunity to reflect on their lives in order to make sense of their experiences.
Moral awareness is fostered through the extension of the students’ repertoire of what is ‘of worth’ by exploring values and giving high regard to these.
Parents are given the right to withdraw students from acts of worship. Students withdrawn from acts of worship are registered as normal. Students are expected to have suitable materials to read.
A thematic approach is used in the planning of acts of worship and wherever possible they encompass important religious, local, national, international and school based events.
Wherever notices or general comments need to be made to the students, a clear division is made between these and the act of worship, so as not to detract from the atmosphere and the meaning of the collective worship.
Religion is a very popular subject. Students study beliefs, worship and moral issues within Christianity, Islam and some of the other world religions. Students are encouraged to value diversity in religion and culture and acknowledge the feelings of others. Respect for the freedom to practise or not to practise religion is also an important attitude encouraged in students.
In Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) this subject is known as Philosophy and Ethics to reflect the very broad nature of its programme of study.