Sunday, September 23, 2007


reposted from: Ringwood School Prospectus


The school’s policy on collective worship is a development of an aspect of its policy on spiritual and moral development in the context of the provisions of the relevant section of the Education Reform Act of 1988.
Collective worship may take place in a year assembly but as year assemblies are sometimes organisational meetings only take place once a week, they do not ensure compliance with the law relating to a daily act of worship
or, by themselves, make the most of the opportunity that the law provides. However, year assemblies can be a vital aspect of collective worship because they provide a special kind of communal experience. School assemblies are usually at their best as acts of collective worship when there is plenty of student involvement.
Our act of daily worship takes place before afternoon school within each tutor group. It will include the reading, by a student or by a teacher, of a selected thought for the day.
These ‘thoughts’ may be in the form of a story, a contextualised reading from the Bible, a poem or some idea designed to promote a reflective view of life and spiritual awareness.
These reading are gathered together in the form of a ‘Book of Days’. The readings which comprise the ‘Ringwood School Book of Days’ have been selected with several aims in mind.
To promote knowledge of some of the main accounts in the gospels and reflection upon their significance; To encourage awareness of aspects of non-Christian religions and the contribution they make to spiritual awareness; To feed the imagination with stories, poems and ideas which may create new layers of experience and realms of meaning; To encourage the growth of the ability to interpret and to appreciate different kinds of truths. It is through the pursuit of these aims that the possibility of worship and the invitation to worship are created.

Collective worship is not corporate worship; it cannot be assumed that all who are present are members of one faith community. It is reasonable to require respect for any activity which is organised as collective worship, and reasonable to invite participation; it is not reasonable to require participation. Most of the material which will be presented to students will be open to different interpretations at different levels of sophistication. It is important to remember that the stories and images can have a value in themselves without intellectual reconstruction. Teachers should not insist on an interpretation but allow children to become aware, through time, that deeper understanding of one kind or another is possible. Comments and reactions should be welcomed and corrections restricted to matters of established fact rather than interpretation.

Under review by the Governing Body, September 2006

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