With Christ at our centre, prayer, worship and liturgical celebration are central to our Catholic values and form an integral part of the school day. Prayer is encouraged in a variety of methods; – private individual prayer, group prayer, and whole school prayer. We have a prayer area in school, bible buddies, prayer bags (which are sent home in each class), prayer leaders in assemblies and our enthusiastic and liturgy leaders during our class prayer and liturgy time.
Every Monday morning, Miss Deakin leads the assembly base on the Sunday Gospel and this follows the liturgical year. The children are active participants and displays in the hall support the teachings of the assembly. Each Friday afternoon, teachers lead an award celebration assembly and the children enjoy learning traditional hymns and engaging songs. Sometimes, we have a focus which the children will lead, especially if they have planned a charity event and the children will also present to the whole school as party of care for our common home.
Each child takes part in a daily act of worship that lasts for 15 minutes. Traditional and formal prayers are used at lunchtime and to open and close the school day sessions. The children also plan and lead acts of worship within each of their classes. This happens daily and the children from Year 3 lead Lectio Divina and we are beginning to incorporate Visio Divina to further enhance and deepen our experiences with God.
Each class has a rota for leading prayer and liturgy and four children come together to plan the special worship time for the rest of the class. There are four children to correspond with the four parts of our prayer and liturgy structure and each class has four separate packs of resources to support the children’s independence and leading of the worship. The children use this template to plan and ensure careful connection with the class to enable the scripture to reach and touch each individual child. This is all part of deepening our relationship with God and developing our human person.
Collective Worship across every class uses the same structure. We gather, using prayers or actions or music. We encourage children, who play musical instruments to use their talents in the gather part of the worship, to set the mood and calmly engage their peers. We then listen to scripture readings. We reflect on the meaning of the scripture and something picture to consider what it is saying to us. Finally, we go forth by reflecting on the scripture and taking this forward into our work throughout the day. In each class, there is a prayer and liturgy book where pictures, planning templates and responses are kept as a reminder and record of the acts of worship.