As a Church of England school we work closely with our church, St Thomas’ which is just a short walk away, in Stockton Heath village. Our relationship with St Thomas’ church is very important to us and we are proud to belong to the family of the church in Stockton Heath.
St Thomas' Vicar, Vicar Michael leads worship in school every Wednesday and our Christian Youth Leader, Adam leads our Monday morning worship. They both visit our nursery children to give them an age appropriate version of the service. Children also take part in developing, writing and leading special services, such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter at St Thomas' Church for the other children and members of the wider school community
Worship is intended to be accessible for everyone, for the teachers and for the children alike. We aim to bond our school family and make our worship the most important time of the day.
For the staff and the children, school worship is the major contact with God in the week and is integral to everyone’s spiritual wellbeing.
Every collective worship starts by lighting the candle and children are selected to say the call and response,
The Lord is here, his spirit is with us. Lift up your hearts, we lift them up to the lord.
Our central aims of collective worship (as detailed in the Diocesan guidelines) are to:
- Enable children and staff to explore and celebrate the differences and diversity found in the variety of forms of worship in the Anglican Christian tradition.
- Lead the school community to the ‘threshold of worship’ in order for them to make an informed choice about their own involvement and to consider their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Seek to deepen and widen the experience of those of ‘faith’ and encourage those of ‘no faith’ so that they begin to feel for themselves something of what it means to worship.
- Use celebration, silence, stilling, reflection, contemplation, meditation, prayer, song, symbols and imagery as vehicles for worship and spiritual growth.
- Provide opportunities for the whole school community to address God directly through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit through acknowledging his presence, reflecting upon his character and giving Him praise and honour.
- Use a vocabulary of worship that encourages the whole school community to attend, participate and lead worship.
- Encourage all present to explore their own beliefs and understanding of God within a Christian framework by learning more about the Christian faith and by encountering Christ through worship.
- Raise awareness through reflection of the ultimate questions of life relating to matters of faith.
- Reaffirm, strengthen and practise key Christian values. (e.g. love, peace, compassion, forgiveness, self-giving) and celebrate each unique individual member of the school community as made in the image of God.
- Nurture and encourage respect and care for God's created world by promoting a positive attitude to environmental issues locally, nationally and globally.
- Seek to provide opportunities for spiritual, social and moral development that is characterised be feelings such as awe, wonder, being uplifted, elation, appreciation, gratitude, respect, and reverence.
- Develop a sense of community within the school, the locality, (e.g. local church) and foster the sense of being part of a wider community though the celebration of achievements, festivals and special occasions.
- Foster a concern for the needs of others