Collective Worship

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.
 
Blessing

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'.
Values Displays
 
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.
 
 
Thankfulness

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’.
Ethos Group

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.
Ethos Group
 
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.

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.

Video Conference

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.
Harvest Festival

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.

Umuganda

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.
Prayer Cards
 
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.
International Cross of Nails School
 

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, 

Father Forgive. 

The selfishness of people and nations to possess what is not their own, 

Father Forgive. 

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth, 

Father Forgive. 

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others, 

Father Forgive. 

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless and the refugee, 

Father Forgive. 

Anything which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children, 

Father Forgive. 

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God, 

Father Forgive. 

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. 

Amen. 

 

Mrs Katie Gray (Executive Headteacher)

Harvest 2018
Harvest festival this year was held on a foggy autumn morning.  Miss Prince showed the children and parents how much food some families in the world have to eat each week and the children decided that this was not much.  She invited them to bring their food gifts to the altar, where Reverend John blessed them for us.  The children sang a super harvest song and then we all went back to school to enjoy our harvest loaf.
Easter 2019
 
The children re-created the Easter story using food to illustrate each part.  They read a part of the story and then symbolised it on their plate using different foods.  At the end of the story everyone enjoyed their Easter plate together.

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.

Exeter Cathedral Pilgrim Day
 
Children in years four, five and six had the wonderful opportunity to attend an Exeter Cathedral Pilgrim Day.
 
Through worship, workshops, song and prayer the children celebrated their journey so far and thought about their next stages through education and indeed, life. The children represented the school superbly and held their banner high during the closing service.