St Mary’s is a VA Church of England Primary School. As such it has a Trust Deed which states that worship “should be in accordance with the principles and practice of the Church of England”. Collective worship takes account of the ages, aptitude and background of the pupils and is provided daily.
Collective worship provides an opportunity for the children to explore, reflect upon and respond to the Christian faith, moral issues and their own beliefs. Participation and response are encouraged whether through active involvement in the presentation of worship or through listening to and joining in the worship offered. Collective Worship provides opportunities to develop community spirit and promote a common ethos based on the school’s Christian values.
The cycle and colours of the church year is observed and services are regularly held in the Church for major festivals. We have a school Eucharist in the church three times a year and children are encouraged to lead worship both in school and in the church.
Collective worship is planned around the school’s twelve Values (1 value per term over two years) and the impact of it is evaluated by members of different classes. The school’s close relationship with St Mary’s Church means that the vicar, Rev Jan van der Lely, regularly leads worship in school, as well as weekly visits from the Open the Book team.
We have a school worship team and they prepare the elements and support teachers in the daily worship. As well as the head teacher all teachers lead worship and we enjoy having visitors occasionally to lead worship as well.
In support of the values, prayer is at the heart of our worship, all children know the Lord’s Prayer and they have opportunities during the year to write their own prayers, for example in 2016 Class 1 wrote a beautiful poem for armistice which was turned into a prayer for the school. We have an annual prayer day in school and have a prayer basket where we put our payers for the term. In every class there is a prayer station which allows children to reflect.