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Collective Worship



Collective worship at Barnham is clearly based on the traditions of the Christian Church, however, it is also a shared activity that allows for a variety of responses, providing an opportunity for those of any religious faith or none to focus and reflect on stimuli which allow the human spirit to respond with integrity.


Our school is committed to respect the religious communities, or non-religious backgrounds, from which pupils and staff come. We want our times of worship to be an oasis, a place of spiritual refreshment for all.


Barnham’s acts of worship aim to:

• explore the Christian faith with children and staff, especially to celebrate the C of E’s educational vision: Dignity, Community, Hope and Wisdom


• give an opportunity, for those who wish, to worship God, and, for those who don’t, a clear opportunity to demonstrate respect for others


• discover and celebrate key moments of the Christian calendar, and to enjoy and celebrate special moments of the lives of our school communities


• help children to develop a sense of awe and wonder at the world around them, developing a spiritual dimension to their lives and personal relationships


• strengthen and support the school community and celebrate the Christian belief that each unique individual member is made in the image of God


• provide regular time and opportunity for reflection, enabling children to move from what is of immediate but passing concern to the broader and more lasting concerns of life

• provide time and opportunity for thanksgiving and to enjoy the unity which derives from sharing friendship, acceptance, joys, hopes and fears, etc.


• develop an awareness of and concern for the needs of others as well as personal needs


• provide time to share with others the things they have been doing, their thoughts and ideas


• help children to think about Christian values and how these might be shared and put into practice by all in school


• give children experience of being active members of a caring community, who respond in a compassionate and civilised way to experiences of injustice, cruelty, exploitation, greed etc.


Collective worship

We understand worship to be a special act or occasion whose purpose is to show reverence to God. Collective worship involves all members of the school coming together, as a class, mixed-age family group or whole school and participating in an assembly.


In line with the 1988 Education Reform Act, which states that collective worship should be 'wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character', we normally base our assemblies on the teachings of Christ and traditions of the Christian Church. However, we conduct our assemblies in a manner that is sensitive to the individual faith and beliefs of all members of the school.



Organisation of collective worship


We hold a daily act of collective worship in our school at 10:15am, which includes a combination of music, song, stories, shared experiences, role-play, prayer and reflection. For those who do not have a faith, we believe that this time of reflection is a pause in the day which benefits well-being, mental health and appreciation of our wonderful world and amazing lives.


The Headteacher and other members of staff normally conduct collective worship, and local clergy or other representatives of local churches regularly conduct them as well.


Our Collective Worships are usually focused around a Christian value but we also take the themes from the traditions of the Christian faith and we often reflect the festivals and events of the Christian calendar. Sometimes the themes of our Collective Worship reflect and build on topics that we teach as part of the school curriculum. Our rich, exciting, hands on curriculum provides a wealth of opportunities for children to experience awe and wonder across the curriculum.


Parents and friends are further invited to our special Collective Worships such as Harvest, Easter, Carol Services, Leavers’ assembly, some of which take place in St. Gregory's Church.


Our Collective Worship aims to offer spiritual refreshment for all.


Collective Worship usually follows the pattern in the table below:



Values themed led by SLT


Family Worship (children meet together in mixed-age circle time groups)


Musical Worship and an opportunity to learn new songs


Bible Stories usually by local clergy


Celebration Worship led by SLT


There will be other special Collective Worship sessions planned throughout each term. These are carefully planned and link to our distinctive Christian ethos and our school values, more information can be seen below:



Collective Worship Sessions


Collective Worship Sessions


Collective Worship Sessions 

Courageous Advocacy CW

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made Days

Family Worship (Circle Time)

Singing Assemblies

Wellbeing Wednesdays 

Celebration Assemblies (Sharing)

Reflective Collective Worships (Silent)

Monthly Safeguarding Focus

Bible Stories 

Open the book

Visitors from local churches




Courageous Advocacy

Throughout the school year we will have various assemblies where we encourage our children to be Change Agents. We want them to positively make a difference in our school, home, community and the world by being a change agent - a courageous advocate!

A courageous advocate is someone who supports, champions and speaks up for a cause that is important and meaningful to them. Courage is needed to persevere and stand up for something or someone you believe in, to make a difference

As one of our school bible verses says:

Jesus said ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them, will bear much fruit.’ – John 15 v 5.

We want to encourage our children to bear fruit and then share fruit with others.

Every time we see or hear that a child has been sharing their fruits and making a positive difference they place a wooden token in their class jar!

Each class has voted on an act they will carry out, as a class team, to positively impact on others, the environment or begin to stand up for a cause, once their class jars are filled!

We will use this steps model to help our children understand steps that they might take when being an agent of change:


Fearfully & Wonderfully Made Days


The bible tells us in Psalm 139 that we are all ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. The purpose of these special days and Collective Worship times are to celebrate our differences by focusing on different abilities or disabilities. We want our children to know about these so that they can be better citizens and friends. Our first fearfully and wonderfully made day this year was about Cerebral Palsy awareness and we all wore green clothes and were privileged to hear from two boys, from a local school, with the condition who kindly visited our school to share with us.


Visitors in Collective Worship

We are very privileged at Barnham to have links with a wide-range of visitors who come to lead us in Collective Worship usually once a half term. We are grateful to each and every one of them:

Vicar Cat

Blackbourne Team Ministry

Vicar Karen

Blackbourne Team Ministry

Captain Diane

Thetford Salvation Army

Helen Matter

Friend of Barnham & MAF Schools Representative

Matt Heard

Hope Community Church, Thetford

Susie Bratby

Sports Minister


Tony Heywood

Thetford Team Ministry

Tony Hood

Hopton Church


If you have links to any other churches that might have leaders that may wish to lead Collective Worship, please do contact the school.


Staff in Collective Worship

All staff members will be invited and encouraged to attend Collective Worship daily. We hope that all will be positive role models during this time and also use the opportunity to have a moment of calm refreshment and reflection in the busy school day. We want our worship to be for the whole school community.


Children as leaders

The children are responsible for creating our sacred space and will set the hall up for worship including getting the worship table ready, lighting candles and getting any technology needed organised.


Some children will welcome the children as they enter by holding the door open and greeting each other with a smile.


The Collective Worship Crew, usually made up of children from Year 6 will open and close each Collective Worship using a set greeting and response and dismissal and response.


Children will also be invited to lead prayers and reflection times at various opportunities. We will encourage them to use the “TSP” prayer approach – Thank you, Sorry, Please OR they may choose to read a prayer from the school prayer book (written by children) OR lead the school in the school prayer.




We believe passionately that our children need to be informed about all Christian values in order to be well-rounded children that make a difference in the world that we live. We want them to be like strong trees that is referred to in the bible in the book of Jeremiah Chapter 17: 7-8:


“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
 They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”


We see God at the centre of our school (the cross), we picture the tree as having 3 branches which make up our ethos ‘inspire, cherish, believe’ and we refer to our Christian values as fruits.


This image illustrates that inspired by the bible verse above, the animals also are the names of our classes:

Here is an overview of our Collective Worship Programme for this academic year, each half term has a value attached to it with a bible verse to give meaning and context to our learners. There is also a call and response that the children will use as they lead our worship time together to greet the school and to dismiss them at the end:


Barnham’s Big Questions

In order to guide the children’s thinking around our focus value/ fruit. Some big thought-provoking questions will be displayed in our sacred space and as the children enter Collective Worship and they will be given space to think and reflect on these. These may also be used in reflective areas around the school and for discussion points in family worship times.


The place of Music in worship

Songs will be values themed and children may sing as the enter Collective Worship and as they exit. We may also sing our new school song.


Sometimes music will be used to set the scene for Collective Worship too and we will encourage children to appreciate a wide-range of music.


Prayer & Reflection Time

Every Collective Worship will have a prayer & reflection time. Children will be invited to use this time to think or pray. These times will take many different forms including time for silence.




Our hope is that Collective Worship is an oasis for all who attend Barnham CEVC Primary School. A time of peace, calm and refreshment amidst every busy day.


Our hope is to raise up a generation of life-long learners that will take what they learn from Collective Worship and demonstrate these values throughout their lives being the best that they can be for themselves, each other and God’s world. We want them to leave Barnham School inspired with a lifelong love of learning and a yearning to fulfil their potential. We want them to believe in everyone and encourage all to be the best that they can be. We want them to feel cherished as part of God’s family at Barnham School but also beyond.


More information about Collective Worship at Barnham can be found by reading our policy: