Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. John 7:38
Collective Worship is central to the life and purposes of Eckington Church of England First School and is central to the development of its Christian foundation, vision, values and ethos. It is rooted in our Christian Values of: Creativity, Friendship, Forgiveness, Perseverance, Respect and Responsibility. We aim to provide our pupils with a sound knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other world faiths by studying different beliefs, the expression of those beliefs, forms of worship, festivals and celebrations, life styles and moral viewpoints.
Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at Parish and Diocesan level. The School aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith, and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers to all its pupils. Collective Worship unites the whole school and develops a sense of community. It is a time to celebrate the worth and value of every single person in our school.
A prayer for the world
God of love and hope,
you made the world and care for all creation,
but the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus.
Some people are worried that they might get ill.
Others are anxious for their family and friends.
Be with them and help them to find peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists,
and all who are working to discover the right medicines
to help those who are ill.
Thank you that even in these anxious times,
you are with us.
Help us to put our trust in you and keep us safe.
Worship Council have planned and will help to deliver the service. We have been inspired by a poem written by a local school boy, Joshua Dyer aged 15 (Worcestershire) and have incorporated this in the service.
One Thousand Men Are Walking
One thousand men are walking
Walking side by side
Singing songs from home
The spirit as their guide
they walk toward the light milord
they walk towards the sun
they smoke and laugh and smile together
their foes are now outrun
these men live on forever
in the hearts of those they saved
a nation truly grateful
for the path of peace they paved
they march as friends and comrades
but they do not march for war
step closer to salvation
a tranquil steady corps
the meadows lit with golden beams
a beacon for the brave
the emerald grass untrampled
a reward for what they gave
they dream of those they left behind
and know they dream of them
forever in those poppy fields
there walks one thousand men
The whole school took part in a Pentecost Experience Day to explore this important festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter (the name comes from the Greek pentekoste, "fiftieth"). Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church, and the start of the church's mission to the world.
The children evaluated the day as being a peaceful, reflective time and enjoyed the different aspects which were explored. They created their own 'tweets': #Holy Spirit ... always with you.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalms 1:2-3
Thank you Reverend Rick for blessing our new worship garden. We listened to the reading from Genesis and thought about God's creation of our world.
Thank you to everyone in helping us to create our beautiful worship garden. What wonderful families and friends of the school we have.
Our Monday worship was a very thought provoking time. We listened to Mrs Dodd who told us all about why we have Christian Aid week and the importance of it, not just in this week, but at all times.
As a whole school we took part in the Christian Aid raising voices scheme. This is where each person in our school reflects on the situation of refugees and other people in need. We hold onto a shared piece of red ribbon, pray for those people and tie a knot. Each knot is a symbol that we are bound together.
Christian Aid will present the bundle of string to our political leaders as a reminder that we are bound together, and that each of us around the world is deserving of safety and welcome – particularly those in need of food and shelter
Our wonderful worship council and Mrs Dodd organised our Easter service this year. They chose songs and readings. Each class led an area of worship. Class one read out a poem sharing the meaning of Easter, Class 2 performed a thoughtful reading of their thoughts as if they lived in Jerusalem at the time Jesus' return, Year 3 also performed a meaningful poem, Year 4 sang us a beautiful Easter song and the Year 5 children told the Easter story through readings and their own written prayers.
It was a beautifully presented Easter service that really showed how the children care about how Jesus saved us all through his actions. The children acted in a peaceful and respectful manner. It had so many spiritual moments too, moments of peace and calm, times of joyous praise and jubilation. Our church, Holy Trinity, truly is a spiritual place of worship.
Worship Council were very lucky to spend the morning celebrating and worshiping Jesus at St. James' Church, Wollaston. Thank to all the clergy and helpers for making this a wonderful morning.
Being part of a church school means that we are distinctively different to non-church schools as we are distinctly Christian in our approach and in our conduct. We gather together each day to take part in collective worship, where the children sing together, say a prayer and hear a Christian message. The children will also say a prayer before dinner in their classrooms and have a prayer at the end of the day and most of these prayers are written by the children themselves. We celebrate key Christian festivals in church (Harvest, Christmas and Easter) and also our Year 5 ‘Leavers Service’. We attend church for the first worship of each term which is led by the vicar however, all other church services are led by the children and parents are always invited to join us. We are pleased to have Open the Book in school every other week and our church youth worker leads worship fortnightly. All staff lead daily worship and children take an active part in this. We hope that you and your child will feel comfortable with our church school ethos which we think makes us special. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from any of these daily acts of worship following a discussion with the Headteacher.
At Eckington we hold the belief that spirituality is concerned with the inner dimension of human life and that which goes beyond the material. Spiritual development is important and can animate and sustain us throughout our life. Pupils will be given opportunities to develop their own self worth and a sense of awe and wonder and respect for that which surrounds them. This underpins the values of our school and is endorsed in our school mission statement.
Reception and Class 1 went on a visit to Holy Trinity Church in the village. We had a very peaceful, spiritual and thoughtful time, reflecting on the church building and its features and what makes our church a sacred place.
During our time there, we talked about what makes the church sacred, special and important. Reverend Susan helped us by thinking about all the prayers and praise that have taken place in the church over the 100s of years the church has been there. It is also a spiritual place where Christians can feel closer to God.
We also had to explore the church and find different features of the church that help us to praise God at different times of the year and at different events, such as weddings and christenings.
"Encourage one another and build each other up." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Roots and Fruits
"The 21st century classroom is a vibrant environment characterised by exploration, discussion, discovery and reflection. The expectation is, therefore, that collective worship, which offers an expression to all that is of worth and indeed to all that is sacred in the school community, will likewise be inspirational and keenly relevant to the lives of the children. " (Shahne Vickery - Roots and Fruits)
Pattern of Worship
When everyone is gathered, 3 candles are lit to signal the start of worship.
Symbolised by a window the learning element is when new possibilities or perspectives are 'opened up' through the use of drama, visual images, poetry or puppetry based on Bible stories or other texts.
Symbolised by the mirror the reflecting element encourages everyone to consider how the Bible story or stimulus has resonated with, or challenged them.
Responding, the final element in the worship, has the symbol of the door and provides an opportunity to consider how God might be challenging those present in worship to 'step out' and play their part in making a difference in the world or as part of the whole school community,
Every other week members of our local church lead our collective worship called 'Open the Book'. A team of volunteers dress up and act out Bible stories for the children. The church help us learn new worship songs and teach us actions. Afterwards the children write their own personal reflection about the story/ message they have heard.