To comply with government legislation, we have a ‘daily act of worship that is of a broadly Christian basis.’ This usually takes place in a classroom.
Each week we have a theme for our worship. (These are always on display in school.) The themes are based on Christian values and are intended to give a good reference point for behaviour and conduct. Each theme begins with a Bible story on a Monday to explain what Christians believe and the theme usually lasts for two weeks. In the following days familiar children's stories are used to illustrate the same theme. So the theme of "Perseverance" starts with the story of "The Lost Sheep" and can be followed-up with stories such as "The Enormous Turnip" and "The Crow and the Half-full Water Jug". The children are rewarded with "I am pleased cerificates" for persevering with tasks in school.
A daily act of worship might follow this format:
The switching on 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, Lucy's Quarrel, Alfie Lends A Hand.
Discussion surrounding the story or theme, including examples of behaviour which would show that the children understood it.
A prayer. This could be a time of quiet reflection, or a prayer to which the children may respond with Amen. 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.
On Friday afternoon we draw together the learning for that week in a celebration. The children participate in this Worship by volunteering their thoughts around the current theme. 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 behaviour they have observed which reflects learning from the current or previous Worship themes. Alongside this a ‘Star of the Week’ certificate is presented to a child in each class. This is a positive and rewarding way to finish our week in school.
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).
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 use a National resource called "Understanding Christianity" and learn about faiths and beliefs.
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 tolerance and understanding. We encourage the children to express their own viewpoints and ideas and embrace them all sensitively.
Each year some of our work is teaching about the Christian Faith and major festivals. 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 taught in a weekly lesson and is intended to develop understanding of faith and the traditions surrounding it.
We try to make our R.E. lessons lively and interesting. We have explored the Christian creation story through dance and we have created models to help us explore creation.
The Headteacher is happy to discuss any aspect of Religious Education or Worship with parents.