"Worship at Cranham brings together the whole school community with the vision and values at its core. It is motivating, often sparking pupils into social action such as litter picking after learning about the plight of the environment. It is inclusive and pupils and staff enjoy the coming together as one body. Joyous singing demonstrates the enjoyment that is shared and how it serves to uplift the spirit. Quiet moments or prayer creates a contrast and whilst being still, pupils reflect on key messages they have heard. Careful planning by the worship leader incorporates current affairs, enabling pupils to learn about the wider world. Spiritual sessions are planned into worship weekly. These focus on vision and values and encourage pupils to reflect upon special moments or feelings in their personal lives and beyond. Pupils are invited to say the Creed at the start of daily worship, lighting a candle to ‘let God join them’ and the Grace at the end."
(SIAMS Report 2023)
Gathering together daily is very important here at Cranham - it is a time for our school family to come together and reflect on all the ups and downs of life.
Collective Worship is the beating heart of Cranham C of E Primary. It provides the opportunity for our school community to share experiences, ideas and understanding. It is the context in which the language of spirituality, which we use as a school, is regularly and explicitly shared.
Our collective worship varies throughout the week:
Monday: Values Worship focuses on courage, compassion or community. Once a term, it is planned and led by our pupil worship team.
Tuesday: Spirituality Sessions are held in class and allow children to reflect upon big questions in a more intimate space. Responses are recorded in our spirituality floor books which are kept in each class's spirituality corner.
Wednesday: Singing Worship is a chance for us to show praise through song and to learn about music from around the world!
Thursday: Current Affairs Worship is separated into KS1 and KS2 so that the children can approach the stories in an age-appropriate form. Children learn about and reflect upon a topical news story; they discuss how it makes them feel and what they can do to help. Our pupil worship team records the responses in our current affairs book and the news story is included in our weekly newsletter so parents can continue the conversations at home.
Friday: Celebration Worship is led by our pupil worship team - it's our chance to celebrate all the pupils who have shone this week! Awards are given out by staff and pupils, and pebbles are given for showing our school values; our pupils' achievements are shared with parents in our weekly newsletter. Friday worship is also a chance to celebrate achievements outside of school, and for pupil performances.
What do our children say about our collective worship?
"I like making the prayers and being with my friends."
"It's like a string around all of us, because we are a community."
"I love singing worship best of all!"
"It is a time to reflect and think."
"I’m not religious but I feel I belong; I still have a chance to express my opinions in worship."
Spirituality: the ows, wows and nows
To talk about spirituality is, essentially, to talk about something which is beyond words. Collective Worship provides the opportunity for pupils to become aware of the importance of reflection and how our positive and negative experiences can be formative. It also provides a real sense of being present (now moments) which are often linked to invitations to pray.
Through daily Collective Worship, pupils are offered a space and a place for hearing the Christian story. They are offered an understanding of worship by being invited to participate in, or observe, Christian spiritual practices such as prayer, reading and reflection on the Bible, and liturgy and are introduced to different musical traditions.
Opportunities to reflect on the wows of life such as beauty and joy of the world are given, as well as time to reflect and empathise with the ow moments of disappointment or pain. Pupils are given time to consider their responsibilities to others and to grow in love and service. Time is given for celebration, both for the accomplishments of school members and to mark seasonal Christian festivals and celebrations in the calendars of other faiths. In this way pupils are offered time to be able to contemplate and develop spiritually. Collective Worship in Cranham C of E Primary is invitational, inspirational and inclusive.
Most of the time we can explain what happens in the world by science
But sometimes we may see a glimpse of something beyond:
The joy of making a new friend,
The excitement of being able to do something today which we couldn’t do yesterday,
The delight of warm sun on our faces or splashing in cold puddles.
In these wow moments, when we’re aware of something beyond,
Help us to be open to the idea of you, God.
Most of the time we feel safe and secure
But sometimes life can be difficult and painful and we long for something beyond:
Someone who understands what it’s like to be alone,
Or let down by friends,
Or feel like they have nowhere to call home.
In these ow moments, help us to be open to something beyond
And brave enough to reach out and pray.
Most of the time we are busy running or learning or playing,
But sometimes it’s good simply to be, help us then to glimpse something beyond the everyday:
When we are still,
When we are present to ourselves,
When there is nothing to distract us.
In these now moments, help us to be open your possibility God
And help us to pray.
What did SIAMs say about our collective worship?
Collective worship is central to the life of the school, promoting its Christian vision and some of the Anglican traditions of the school. Worship has a positive impact on relationships, ethos and culture with older pupils visibly caring for the younger pupils. They participate eagerly in worship, and the recent formation of a pupil worship group has improved opportunities for them to be involved in the planning and leadership of worship. Pupils talk about worship as a special time where they get a chance to ‘talk to God’. They talk about reflection and prayer with growing understanding and sometimes use these in their daily life to ask for help or pray for others. St James the Great church is regularly used to celebrate the main Christian festivals and through these services pupils are becoming more familiar with Anglican traditions. Parents fully support collective worship and speak positively about how their children can now link the idea of service to the Harvest festival because of the direct links made in worship to the local food bank and the ‘shoe box’ appeal. Pupils have a developing understanding of the Trinity with the introduction of an interactive blessing at the end of each act of worship.