Aim and purpose of Collective Worship
At St Columba's School, Jesus Christ remains central to every aspect of school life. We aim to be a living, loving and sacramental community which is in inspired by the life of Christ and the teachings of the Church, rooted in Gospel values. We hope that from the minute you enter our school you clearly see and feel that we are a Catholic community.
Acts of worship may take place at any time during the day. It may take the form of a single act of worship with the whole school community or separate acts of worship in school/class groups. Collective Worship in our school is an integral part of our ethos, aims and relationships, as Christian values permeate all aspects of school life and all relationships. It is a way of deepening our relationship with God together and individually.
We aim to:
Understanding of the Liturgical Calendar
We ensure that pupils are aware of the Liturgical Calendar and key events in the Church. The symbolism of colours is made clear from the earliest days in our school: purple for penance (seen during advent and Lent), red for Holy Spirit and martyrdom (seen at Pentecost), white, gold for important feasts, green for the ordinary times of the year, blue is associated with Mary.
Some months of the year have special foci. October is the month of the Rosary, November is the month when the Holy Souls (the deceased) are prayed for, May is the month when Mary is especially remembered and June is the month of the Sacred Heart when we remember especially the great love Jesus has for us. We ensure that special foci and feast days are included in our collective worship theme of the week.
About Collective Worship
A daily act of collective worship is central to the Christ-centred ethos of our school and to our mission of Christ’s teachings of love, peace and justice being at the heart of all we do.’.
Worship in our school is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God.
Each act of worship follows the four fold action of Gathering, hearing God’s Word, Responding to the Word and being sent forward with a Mission based on the worship we have participated in.
Our Collective Worship takes many different forms:
We gather together as a school community for whole school collective worship on a Monday. On a Monday, worship is led by Mrs Nash or Mrs McAleenan based on the Gospel reading from the previous Sunday. This is a theme we will have encountered through the previous week’s ‘Wednesday Word’ and at church on Sunday.
On Wednesday Mass is celebrated in the school hall. Children play an active part in each Mass, through reading, praying, singing, altar serving and taking part in entrance and offertory processions. Each class takes it in turn to lead and prepare the celebration based on the liturgical year, focusing on solemnities, feast days and memorials of saints important to the children. On Wednesdays, we also hold a lunch time prayer group in our prayer garden which children are invited to attend. This is led by our liturgy leaders.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, class prayer services are held and there is a theme for the week. The service may link to a particular Bible story; a feast day, it could be based on a word, such as ‘friendship’ or ‘compassion’ or it could be linked to the Values and Virtues.
On Fridays, we come together to celebrate our achievements and successes in our 'Gifts from God' assembly.
Once a month we hold a silent prayer service for the whole school in our school hall. The children come together for a time of silent prayer and reflection.
Each classroom has a dedicated prayer area where the class pray at regular intervals throughout the day.
Every month pupils participate in whole school silent prayer. The children experience silent contemplation, to develop their own spirituality and private prayer.
Each class has a focus Prayer Bag created by the school. These are taken home and shared so that through examination of text, artefact and prayer the family unit has the opportunity to pray together on a theme familiar to the child. This can also help support the faith and sacramental development of our pupils.
Links with parents:
Liturgies and celebrations and events related to the Catholic Life of our school are shared in school newsletters and are published on the school website. The liturgy leaders write a catholic life report with is shared with Father David and sent home to parents at the end of each term. Parents and families are regularly invited to join the school community in Masses, class lead assemblies, class liturgies and fundraising activities. Parents of children in Sacramental year groups are also invited to Sacramental Meetings, workshops and Commitment Masses as part of the Sacramental Preparation Programme. Children in each class also have the opportunity to take home a Prayer Bag, promoting opportunities for children and their families to talk and pray together. Parents also have a copy of their child's class prayers to say at home together and children receive RE homework and projects half termly to complete with their families.