Collective worship is an integral part of our school that enables us to celebrate God’s presence in our lives and develop a meaningful relationship with him. Through it, we give glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action, to God’s invitation to enter into a relationship made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Each day, the children take part in a Collective Worship, in small groups in class, in year groups, key stages or whole school. Collective Worship is an ideal opportunity to celebrate and celebrations are an essential part of life for people of every age and faith. Collective Worships consist of varying elements such as gathering and greeting, listening, reflecting, responding through community praise, especially in song, prayer and the children’s own work and ideas.
At St Thomas More, we have whole school Collective Worship to celebrate the start of a new academic year, October the month of the Holy Rosary, November the season to remember, Advent and Christmas.
In the Spring Term, we celebrate Lent and give alms to a chosen charity.
In the Summer Term, we celebrate pupils who have received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. At the end of the Summer Term, a special Thanksgiving Mass is held for our Year 6 leavers to which parents, governors and members of our the St Thomas More parish community are invited. Throughout the year, we celebrate different Feasts and Holy Days of the Catholic church.
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 is an educational activity to which all can contribute and from which all can gain.
Through our Prayer Spaces, a group of children may gather spontaneously to pray and speak to God. Both children and staff recognise that prayer is a spontaneous act that can happen at any time of the day.
Prayer Spaces in school enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way.
Our prayer spaces have been set up in the hall and in classroom where children have had the opportunity to take time to pray/talk to God spontaneously.
They are to be set up in various places around school so that children can visit a space relevant to their need.
We will be introducing these special, meaningful areas of prayer and self-reflection to parents during stay and pray gatherings in class.
Our current prayer spaces are explained below.
|Pray for the World I want to think of my neighbours||Some of us have relatives in other countries, place a post-it with their name on where they live and say a prayer. As you pass the prayer space you can repeat your prayer with your relative in mind.The map can become focal point during CAFOD weeks and at times of disaster.|
|Playdough fears Try not to worry or be afraid||When we have been hurt it can be hard to shake off the unkindness and we end up carrying it around with us. It can drag us down.Use the playdough to make a model of the hurt, it may mean rolling it flat and writing an unkind name we have been called. Take a breath and squash the playdough so that the word or model has gone.|
|Fizzy ForgivenessI need to forgive||We get hurt. Sometimes people do and say things to hurt us on purpose.
Sometimes they don’t mean it, but it hurts anyway. Has someone hurt you?
Forgiveness is hard. It is about letting go. If you want to, pick up a tablet and think about those hurt feelings. When you feel ready, drop it into the water.
|Empty chairIt’s alright to miss people||When someone leaves or if we leave somewhere, or when someone dies, they leave a gap in our lives and we miss them. It is normal to miss people we love and care for. Write a memory on one of the tags provided and if you would like, say a silent thank-you for the good memories you have of them.|
|Big QuestionGod will listen to me||If you could ask God one question right now, what would you ask him? You may have a question in your mind and heart that causes you sadness, worry, fear, excitement or happiness.|
|Mirrors I’m going to see the best of me||Look in the mirror. What do you see? Are there any things about yourself you don’t like?
Read some of the quotes around the mirror and make sure you take your time.
Christians believe that God made everyone, and more importantly, that God loves everyone. No one is perfect, but each person is unique and special.
|Thankful strings I must remember that little word||Saying thank you is so simple and yet can mean so much. What are you thankful for today? It could be something so small that meant a great deal.|