We conduct acts of Collective Worship in a dignified and respectful way. We tell children that assembly time is a period of calm reflection. We regard it as a special time and expect children to behave in an appropriate way. As children come into Collective Worship calming music is played. We ask children to be quiet and thoughtful and to listen carefully to the teachings and participate fully in prayer and hymns. A candle is lit during these times which is placed on a focus table with other artefacts.
The acts of Collective Worship are based around promoting the teaching of eighteen Christian values - Courage, Trust, Creativity, Justice, Forgiveness, Peace, Humility, Truth, Thankfulness, Compassion, Hope, Friendship, Generosity, Respect and Reverence, Wisdom, Service, Perseverance and Responsibility. One value is focused on each half term over a three year cycle. We believe these values are clearly Christian in nature but are universal in their application. Collective Worship will also follow the traditions of the Christian faith and often reflect the festivals and events of the Christian calendar.
Throughout the 'Values for Life' teaching a number of approaches are used:
- A range of questions are used to help the whole school community reflect on each value,
- Bible stories that are relevant to the theme
- Stories from world faiths, which illustrate the value
- The use of well known children's texts which support the value
- Interactive displays for children to follow up the discussions in Collective Worship.
There is a display in the school entrance hall which promotes the value currently being taught. The displays always have an interactive element. Children may be encouraged to write poems or draw pictures for the display and may be given opportunities to encourage prayer, e.g. by having outlines of doves to write the subject of a 'peace' prayer, or placing pebbles in a bowl of water once a prayer has been said.
During our Collective Worship focus on Respect and Reverence all the children worked together to write this blessing for our school. It is used in Collective Worship, during sharing assembly and has been used to start a governor meeting.
The children regularly lead worship at the end of a half term. They base it on the term’s ‘value’ that we have all been thinking about.
When considering the value of ‘Thankfulness’ the children went for a walk around Broadhembury to find lots of things we are thankful for in the world around us.
The photographs below show our walk and displays about the value of ‘Thankfulness’.
Our Ethos Team met those from other local schools at Branscombe Church. The day had a focus on the Christian value of 'Trust'. The vicar of Branscombe Rev. Hilary Dawson, opened the day with an act of worship relating to the value of trust. The children then worked in groups to take part in a rotation of activities which involved trust games, creative design and drama.
Ethos Group - Spring 2018
On Tuesday 27th March, the Jubilee Federation Ethos team met together at Branscombe school. The focus of this term’s meeting was to develop our understanding of prayer and its place in the life of each of our schools. The children discussed their own views and experiences, explored a range of Bible verses about prayer and learned about different types of prayer. They were introduced to the acronym, ‘STOP and pray’ to help remember prayers of penitence (Sorry), thanksgiving (Thank you), intercession (Others) and petition (Please). Then, the children experimented with different prayer activities, such as prayer dominoes, using play dough to model the things they were thankful or sorry for, using a labyrinth to aid meditation, using a passage of scripture and even using a set of playing cards to guide their prayers. Hopefully, the children in the Ethos team will be sharing some of these ideas with their classmates in next term’s times of Collective Worship.
Eucharist and Ethos Group - Spring 2019
Early in the Spring term, children from across the Jubilee Federation met at Broadhembury school to take part in an Ethos team meeting, in which they were introduced to Christian Aid’s global neighbours' scheme. The children discussed ways in which they might learn more and deepen their understanding about issues of global poverty and injustice, as well as how they might advocate for the rights of those they learned about. The children, in their school teams, were encouraged to make posters reflecting what they had discussed to take back and share with others in their own schools. As part of the morning, the Ethos team members from around the Federation were also able to take part in the Broadhembury School Eucharist service, led by the Reverend John Hayhoe.
Following this meeting, the ethos team members from Branscombe school presented their posters to the rest of the school at one of the school’s times of daily Collective worship, explaining what they had learned about Christian Aid and the Global Neighbours scheme. They then presented these posters to the wider school community in the school’s weekly Sharing Assembly.
We shared a Collective Worship with our partner school via video conference. It was led by the Vicar of Branscombe Revd Hilary Dawson and had a Palm Sunday theme.
Each school sang one hymn for the other school to listen to.
The children celebrate Harvest each year in church.
As part of their RE, Class 1 wanted to do something that would be of service to others as they had been learning about Umuganda. Umuganda is something that the children learnt about from their RE friends Tom and Tessa. Tom and Tessa told Class 1 all about their Grandad who had visited Rwanda with his local church group and been introduced to Umuganda which means 'community service'.
Class 1 had been planning to help with tidying the churchyard at Broadhembury but due to the very wet weather this was impossible, so it was suggested that the children could polish the inside of the church instead. The children were very keen to do this and worked tirelessly for an hour on Monday afternoon.
The children hope to be able to continue with this service to the community in the spring and carry out their Umuganda in the churchyard once it is drier.
As part of their focus on prayer in Collective Worship during the diocese’s “Thy Kingdom Come” project, the children of Broadhembury CE Primary School investigated different ways of praying and thinking about prayer.
The pupils focused on the meaning of The Lord's Prayer. They worked together on creating Stained Glass Windows of the different parts of the prayer. These were then hung inside church.
Colyton Church Visit, GOD at Work – past, present, future
From June 21st to 25th St Andrew’s Colyton was transformed into the Holy Land. A major interactive exhibition recreated important locations in the life of Jesus. Jerusalem, Galilee, wilderness and shore were the backdrop to God at Work – past, present, future. The exhibition showcased the places where key events in the life of Jesus happened including Cana where he performed his first miracle; the Judean desert where he fought a spiritual battle against evil; the first Easter in Jerusalem – and many more.
Children from the three schools in our federation visited the exhibition. As they made their way round the exhibition, the children were invited to read the relevant stories, relate clues found in special books to the different stories and places and take part in a range of craft activities linked to the stories. The children enjoyed making paper doves, etching crosses, making swizzle sticks showing water turning into wine etc. It was wonderful to be reminded of the stories of Jesus and see them brought to life in such an innovative way.
In September 2018 we were thrilled that Emma Griffiths (Associate Director of Reconciliation from Coventry Cathedral) visited Branscombe and Broadhembury CE Primary Schools, to present us with our own Cross of Nails and welcome us into the International Cross of Nails Community.
On the night of 14th November, 1940, Coventry and its Cathedral endured a relentless bombing campaign. In the days that followed, two enduring symbols emerged from the rubble: two charred roof-beams which had fallen in the shape of a cross were bound and placed at the site of the ruined altar, and three medieval roof nails were also formed into a cross, which became the original Cross of Nails which is now located at the High Altar in the new Cathedral. Shortly afterwards, the words ‘Father Forgive’ were inscribed on the wall of the ruined chancel, and Provost Dick Howard made a commitment not to seek revenge, but to strive for forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible.
The Cross of Nails quickly became a sign of friendship and hope in the post war years, especially in new relationships with Germany. Many crosses were gifted, in thanks and in friendship, to contacts all over the world. By 1974 such informal friendships were numerous, and they were all drawn into a brand new Community of the Cross of Nails, which has continued to grow globally to this day. International Cross of Nails Schools (ICONS) is a network of schools that are part of this community. All members adhere to the three guiding principles of the Community of the Cross of Nails: Healing the wounds of history, Learning to live with difference and celebrate diversity, and Building a culture of peace.
I have known about Coventry Cathedral for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl my mother often talked about a project she had to research when she was at teacher training college. She visited the cathedral herself and was clearly very moved by the atmosphere and symbolism both in the ruins of the old Cathedral bombed in World War Two and the newer cathedral.
And so, when I heard many years later at an Exeter Diocesan Education Conference about the ‘International Cross of Nails Schools’, I felt very inspired to involve the village schools that I am Executive Headteacher of.
When putting together our application it was lovely to think back over all the things we have done at school over a number of years which link to the three key Coventry values of peace, justice and reconciliation. The core biblical text that we use across our federation of schools is from Colossians. It talks about how love binds together all the other values. Throughout the school year, as we talk about values, such as those linked to the Cross of Nails, we also focus on how love helps us to carry out these other values in our daily lives.
At Broadhembury we have developed our own spirituality garden area where children and staff can go to pray or have some time of calm. We have a federation ethos team which created a large wooden cross as a focal point for our garden.
We have considered the Exeter Diocesan vision of ‘Pray, Grow, Serve with Joy’ – by developing prayer buddies and taking part in national church initiatives such as ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ at Pentecost.
We had a project where each child designed a postcard to show how they live out the values we focus on. They painted a picture for the front of the card and wrote a prayer for the back. Also on the postcard is the Colossians Bible Reading that we use to link all the values together. Seven postcards were chosen to be printed and these are now placed in our federation churches for parishioners and visitors to take and reflect upon.
We annually lead an act of remembrance and ensure that we regularly consider the needs of victims of conflict both in the past and the present day.
We encourage pupils to consider the beliefs of those from other faiths and those who have no faith. We have taken children to visit different places of worship in Exeter.
Our daily worship ends with the singing of ‘Shalom’ and our Good Samaritan PSHE reward scheme encourages pupils to think of the needs of others and to help in different ways. Recently the children have helped local food banks and supported charities at home and abroad.
The presentation service, which was attended by the school and village communities and the Exeter Diocesan Director of Education, had a clear message of peace and reconciliation. Following a lively talk from Emma and the presentation of the cross, we all said the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation together. We will continue to say this in school on a regular basis and I have included it here. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project in the last few years and to those who joined us in Church for this very special occasion.
The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
The selfishness of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless and the refugee,
Anything which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.
Mrs Katie Gray (Executive Headteacher)
International Community of the Cross of Nails Visitor
It was lovely to receive a visitor from Coventry Cathedral on the first Wednesday of the Summer term, who reviewed with the children the link that we have with the Cathedral through the school's membership of the International Community of the Cross of Nails. The visitor, Jennifer, reminded the children of the story of the Cathedral's destruction in 1940 and talked about the rebuilding of the cathedral, comparing it to a phoenix rising from the ashes.
She read the children a beautiful story book written by Desmond Tutu, called 'God's Dream', which contains the thought that, "Each of us carries a piece of God's heart within us. And when we love each other, the pieces of God's heart are made whole."
Then she talked to the children about reconciliation and encouraged them to be 'bridge builders' in their relationships.
Jennifer's visit to Branscombe school was one of several visits to International Cross of Nails (ICON) schools in the area, as she is hoping to support these schools, which include both primary and secondary schools, in building a local 'hub' through which we are able to support and encourage one another in promoting the ICON values of peace, justice and reconciliation.