At Broadhembury Church of England Primary School the children take part in a daily act of Christian Collective Worship during which we aim to encourage them to define their own beliefs and values. Parents can decide whether their children should take part in the daily act of collective worship in the school and those wishing to withdraw their children should inform the headteacher in writing. We have positive links with the local Church, its clergy and congregation. The school participates in major festivals in church with special services and a weekly worship which parents and the wider community are invited to.
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.
Children Lead Collective Worship
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.
These are photos from a recent Child Led Worship from KS1 on the value of 'Justice'.
In the entrance hall at school we always have an interactive display that reflects the Christian Value we are focusing on in worship that half term.
Children made some scales to represent the value of Justice.
A display for the Value of Hope.
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 - Friendship Day
The school Ethos Groups met with other similar teams from local Church Schools to have a day with a focus on the Value of Friendship. The children baked a special friendship cake and created a lovely clay friendship ring.
The Ethos Group met again with the focus of considering what is special or distinctive about being a church school and to develop the children's understanding of the core aims, values and ethos across our three federation schools.
The pupils were given copies of our core Bible Reading 'Colossians 3, 12-15' which talks about how Love, our central value, binds all the other values together in perfect unity.
This reading is represented in different ways in the entrance hall of Broadhembury, Branscombe and Farway schools and so the children were also given photographs of these displays and were asked to consider what is the same and different about the aims and ethos of each school. It was lovely to hear the children talking about their beliefs and how they live out the core values in their daily lives.
The members of the ethos committee were then asked to consider words and images that they might use to communicate or celebrate the special, distinctive identity of the three schools. The children were then very excited to be given the task of decorating three huge crosses with some of the words and images that they had thought about. Each of the crosses are going to be placed in the outdoor areas of the three schools to create prayer spaces for the children to reflect in within our beautiful rural settings.
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.
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.
Wonderful World Walk
These are 3 of our favourite photographs from the Wonderful World Walk. We had been looking at The Creation and we were wondering about things that had been made by God (such as the tree) and then things that were made by man using the things that God had created (the stone). The children took the photographs themselves and we talked about how these things got there.
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.
'Thy Kingdom Come' Diocesan Prayer Initiative
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.
Copies of prayers that the children had written and photos of the prayer activities were placed inside the school's Thy Kingdom Come box. Mrs Gray took this to the special Whitsunday service in the Cathedral and placed it on the large map of Devon.
School Eucharist Service
Our School Ethos team visited Branscombe Church with Miss Prince and Rev. John, during the Branscombe School Eucharist Service.
They are now going to help Rev. John talk to the children at our school about Eucharist Services so that we can have similar termly services at Broadhembury.
Bible Story Puppets
We asked parents and members of the community to support us with a knitting project! We provided patterns for knitting Bible character puppets to help us with our Collective Worship and R.E. lessons.
These photos show the children enjoying using the puppets to tell the story of Abraham.
Nativity Role Play Area
The children in Class 1 enjoyed their role play area being set up as the stable in the Nativity.
Bridge Books Donation
We are very grateful to Bridge Books, a Christian Bookshop in Exeter, for their generous donation of a box of books to support our Collective Worship and R.E. Curriculum.
These photos show the children enjoying reading some of the books.
The children across the federation were involved in designing prayer cards reflecting their thoughts about our core Bible Reading 'Colossians 3, 12-15'. They drew a picture that illustrated something within that passage and then wrote a prayer to go with it. Some of the designs were chosen to be made into postcards that have been placed in our parish churches.
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.
Christian Distinctiveness Arts' Week
We recently held an Arts' Week with a focus on our Christian Ethos. Pupils took part in a variety of activities. They made clay tiles to create a display in our worship area. Pictures of Bible stories depicting some of our worship values were painted onto a large mural when creating a spirituality garden. The ethos team finished their cross that they started at Branscombe school. We also planted a new memorial planter in memory of our teaching assistant Mrs Sharon Facey. This was blessed by Rev. John Hayhoe.
Collective Worship Outdoors
Sometimes we go outside for worship. On this day we had read the story of The Creation and imagined going on a country walk. We shouted out loud all of the things that we had passed that we were thankful for.
Weekly Church Worship
We enjoy weekly Collective Worship in the church. This is sometimes led by school staff and sometimes by the vicar. Parents and members of the local community are welcome to join us.
The Value of Compassion
Miss Hooper led an act of worship focusing on The Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13. We reflected on where we think we are in our own hearts before writing a prayer to sow with our seeds for people we would like to share the good news of Jesus with. We asked God to help us to be compassionate for those people who don't know the good news of Jesus. We are looking forward to watching the cress seeds grow in our worship area over the next few weeks as we reflect and trust that God has heard our prayers.
Three Trees - Easter Worship Focus
During our preparation for Easter 2018 we have been thinking of the story of 'The Three Trees' which is a traditional Christian folktale. All three of these trees felt they had lost their value and their worth; they were discouraged and so disappointed, not one of their dreams had come to pass. All three trees thought their stories were over, yet they became an integral part of the greatest story ever told. One tree became the manger that the baby Jesus was laid in. The second was made into the fishing boat that Jesus travelled in with his disciples and the third became Jesus' cross.
We considered the story curing Collective Worship and then for our Easter Service we invited parents and friends of the school to take part in interactive activities at four stations around the school.
The First Station - Jesus' Manger
The First Tree wanted to be a wooden box and hold treasure. He was made into the manger and held the baby Jesus. The children collected treasures from around the school in little buckets and then wrote on little treasure chests what they considered their most precious items to be.
The Second Station - The Boat
The second tree wanted to be the biggest, strongest most magnificent wooden sailing boat that anybody had ever seen. It wanted to carry Kings across mighty seas into far away countries.
The children made origami boats and wrote inside them about a time they felt frightened to link with the story of Jesus when he calmed the storm. Then the children placed their boats on a pool of water to float them.
The Third Station - The Cross
The third tree wanted to be the tallest tree in the world. It wanted people to look up at it and raise their eyes to heaven and think of God.
We had made a cross using our Christmas tree from a few months ago. The children made their own cross from pipe cleaners.
The children also thought about the Crucifixion and how we remember people who die today. The children were given a seed to plant at this station.
The Fourth Station - The Resurrection
At the fourth station the children wrote down their hopes and dreams and added them to the Easter Garden which they had also helped to create.
The Opening of Our Spirituality Garden
The staff and children have worked really hard to create a peaceful Spirituality Garden in a disused area of the school. Mr Nick Cook from NPS Southwest, who supported us with the structural work in the garden, came to cut the ribbon!
The story was covered in the local paper.