Worship & Religious Education
To comply with government legislation, we have a ‘daily act of worship that is of a broadly Christian basis.’ This usually takes place in our designated worship area but may take place in a classroom or even outdoors.
Each week we have a theme for our worship. (These are always on display in school.) The themes are very varied but can be grouped into three categories. One category is assemblies about the world around us for example, People Who Help Us, Plants, Animals, The seasons etc. A second category is about values for life such as being sorry, kindness, generosity or perseverance. The third category is themes which are clearly religious in nature such as Christmas, Easter or Bible stories. Within this category, we also explore festivals from other faiths and cultures such as Hanukah, Diwali or Chinese New Year.
A daily act of worship might follow this format
The lighting of a candle and an opening greeting offering peace.
A story – often a picture book with which the children are familiar such as The Rainbow Fish, Elmer, Alfie Lends A Hand.
Discussion surrounding the story or them.
A prayer. This could be a time of quiet reflection, or a prayer to which the children may respond with Amen. On occasion, we say together ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. No child is ever asked to join in with prayer against their wishes or beliefs. Children are always told that they may join in with our prayer if they wish or just sit quietly.
Each day we sing a hymn or song some of which have religious content such as offering thanks to God, others are more secular in nature.
Most weeks one of our assemblies takes the format of a ‘Songs of Praise’ which allows us to learn new hymns for worship.
Our Friday assembly is our Celebration Assembly. Each week we read all the ‘I am pleased with …. cards that have been put into the bag by staff during the week. Any member of staff can fill in a card for good work, good behaviour, being kind, being helpful or any other positive thing that they wish the child to be mentioned for. Alongside this a ‘Star of the Week’ certificate is presented to a child in each class.
As a church school, we have close links with St. Barnabas Church and have a variety of church services there. These are as follows:
Christmas Tree Service
Joint Carol Service with Bradwell Junior School (alternates between St. Barnabas Church and Bradwell Methodist Church).
A service connected with caring for others. The exact theme may vary from year to year.
St. Barnabas Journey – this leads us around the village singing hymns and songs in a variety of places before joining in St. Barnabas Church for a final hymn and prayer of blessing.
Leavers Service – Year two pupils usually share their memories and are presented with their Record or Achievement.
We try to make our Church services very informal. Most of the content of the service is written by the children as well as being presented by them. We try to make them a pleasant experience for all involved.
For our Religious Education Scheme, we follow the Local Education Authorities Agreed Syllabus entitled ‘Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education’.
The Principal aim of RE in Derbyshire schools is to enable pupils to participate in an on-going search for wisdom, through exploring questions raised by human experience and answers offered by the religions and beliefs of the people of Derbyshire and the wider community, so as to promote their personal development.
The aims of our Religious Education teaching are to teach the children about the main religious traditions and festivals of our country, and to encourage them to think about issues such as caring, belonging and giving. We encourage the children to express their own viewpoints and ideas and embrace them all sensitively.
Our themes follow a three year rolling programme so that the children do not repeat work while they are at Bradwell Infant school. Each year some of our work is teaching about the Christian Faith. We also look at one Christian Festival in depth during the year. The three festivals we focus on are Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter. We complement this by looking at other world faiths – Sikhism, Judaism and Islam. Some of our work is much more to do with values such as belonging and caring for others.
Our Religious Education is mostly taught through specific R.E. Days of which we have 6 each year to comply with the government requirement to teach approximately 36 hours Religious Education in a school year. Each day is centred around a key question such as ‘How do we show that we care for others? How and why do we celebrate Christmas? Who is a Sikh and what do they believe?’
We try to make our R.E. days lively and interesting. For example, we have visited a Sikh Gurdwara and St. Barnabas church to learn about the role of religious buildings in worship, we have explored the Christian creation story through dance, we have created models to help us explore creation and we linked our R.E. Day about caring for others with Children in Need, we dressed in spots, made spotty buns and completed spotty activities. We asked for a donation for taking part.
A selection of work and photographs from each day are presented in Big Books which are displayed in our school entrance area.
The Headteacher is happy to discuss any aspect of Religious Education or Worship with parents.