We conduct acts of Collective Worship in a dignified and respectful way. We tell children that assembly time is a period of calm reflection. We regard it as a special time and expect children to behave in an appropriate way. As children come into Collective Worship calming music is played. We ask children to be quiet and thoughtful and to listen carefully to the teachings and participate fully in prayer and hymns. A candle is lit during these times which is placed on a focus table with other artefacts.
The acts of Collective Worship are based around promoting the teaching of eighteen Christian values - Courage, Trust, Creativity, Justice, Forgiveness, Peace, Humility, Truth, Thankfulness, Compassion, Hope, Friendship, Generosity, Respect and Reverence, Wisdom, Service, Perseverance and Responsibility. One value is focused on each half term over a three year cycle. We believe these values are clearly Christian in nature but are universal in their application. These 'Values for Life' are all based on our Core Christian Value of 'LOVE', which is described in Colossians Ch 3, v12-15 as 'binding all the other values together in perfect unity'. A permanent display in the entrance hall shows how our Christian Value of LOVE links with the other values we consider and our Branscombe Wave Aims.
Throughout the 'Values for Life' teaching a number of approaches are used:
- A range of questions are used to help the whole school community reflect on each value,
- Bible stories that are relevant to the theme
- Stories from world faiths, which illustrate the value
- The use of well known children's texts which support the value
- Interactive displays for children to follow up the discussions in Collective Worship.
There is a display in the school entrance hall which promotes the value currently being taught. The displays always have an interactive element. Children may be encouraged to write poems or draw pictures for the display and may be given opportunities to encourage prayer, e.g. by having outlines of doves to write the subject of a 'peace' prayer, or placing pebbles in a bowl of water once a prayer has been said.
The photographs below show pictures of the displays for the values of Friendship:
These photos show a display for the value of ‘Compassion’
These photos show a display for the value of ‘Justice’
These photos show a display for the value of ‘Hope’
Colyton Church Visit - 21st June 2017
On 21st June 2017, children from the three schools in the Jubilee Federation gathered at St. Andrew’s church in Colyton in attendance of the special interactive exhibition entitled “God @ Work”. This exhibition, which was presented by members of the Holyford Mission Community, celebrated the places in the life and stories of Jesus in a unique way. The church had been transformed using a range of props, artwork and scenery to show scenes from the life and stories of Jesus, such as the temple, the desert, the scene of the Last Supper or the river in which Jesus was baptised. As they made their way around the exhibition, the children were invited to read the relevant stories, relate clues found in special books to the different stories and places and take part in a range of craft activities linked to the stories. The children enjoyed making paper doves, etching crosses, making twizzle sticks showing water turning to wine etc. The children of Branscombe CE Primary School were also able to see their own artwork about the story ‘The Three Trees’ displayed on the pillars of the church. It was wonderful to be reminded of the stories of Jesus and see them brought to life in such an innovative way.
As part of their focus on prayer in Collective Worship during the diocese’s “Thy Kingdom Come” project, the children of Branscombe CE Primary School investigated different ways of praying and thinking about prayer. One of the activities undertaken in this period during Collective Worship, was an interactive carousel of activities designed to help them reflect on the lines of the Lord’s Prayer. The children, in silence, were invited to take part in various activities, such as investigating and decorating different names for God; using maps to pray for His will to be done in the world; kneading dough or eating bread while thanking God for His provision of what they need; drawing in baked beans (and then washing it off) to symbolise being cleansed from sin through forgiveness and using glitter bottles to reflect on God’s glory.
In other sessions, the children prayed in different places around the school for all the people, learning and activities associated with different areas. They also prayed using different pieces of classroom equipment to symbolise different items for prayer. Reverend Hilary taught the children how to use a penny to remind them of different things to pray for, such as praying for the world as the shape of a penny is round, praying for leaders and those in authority when they look at the head of the queen, praying for the concerns of today when they look at the date and praying for those who do not have enough, when they consider that the penny is not worth very much.
Copies of the children's prayers and photos of the prayer activities were placed inside the school's Thy Kingdom Come box. Mrs Gray took this to the special Whitsunday service in the Cathedral and placed it on the large map of Devon.
Our Ethos Team met those from other local schools at Branscombe Church. The day had a focus on the Christian value of 'Trust'. The vicar of Branscombe Rev. Hilary Dawson, opened the day with an act of worship relating to the value of trust. The children then worked in groups to take part in a rotation of activities which involved trust games, creative design and drama.
The ethos group met again with the focus of considering what is special or distinctive about being a church school and to develop the children’s understanding of the core aims, values and ethos across our three federation schools.
The pupils were given copies of our core bible reading ‘Colossians 3, 12-15’ which talks about how Love, our central value, binds all the other values together in perfect unity.
This reading is represented in different ways in the entrance hall of Broadhembury, Branscombe and Farway Schools and so the children were also given photographs of these displays and were asked to consider what is the same and different about the aims and ethos of each school. It was lovely to hear the children talking about their beliefs and how they live out the core values in their daily lives.
The members of the ethos committee were then asked to consider words and images that they might use to communicate or celebrate the special, distinctive identity of the three schools. The children were then very excited to be given the task of decorating three huge crosses with some of the words and images that they had thought about. Each of the crosses are going to be placed in the outdoor areas of the three schools to create prayer spaces for the children to reflect in within our beautiful rural settings.
Ethos Group - Spring Term 2018
On Tuesday 27th March, the Jubilee Federation Ethos team met together at Branscombe school. The focus of this term’s meeting was to develop our understanding of prayer and its place in the life of each of our schools. The children discussed their own views and experiences, explored a range of Bible verses about prayer and learned about different types of prayer. They were introduced to the acronym, ‘STOP and pray’ to help remember prayers of penitence (Sorry), thanksgiving (Thank you), intercession (Others) and petition (Please). Then, the children experimented with different prayer activities, such as prayer dominoes, using play dough to model the things they were thankful or sorry for, using a labyrinth to aid meditation, using a passage of scripture and even using a set of playing cards to guide their prayers. Hopefully, the children in the Ethos team will be sharing some of these ideas with their classmates in next term’s times of Collective Worship.
Child Led Worship
At the end of each Collective Worship topic, we take it in turns to lead an act of collective worship as a class. These pictures show Class 2 sharing the story of the Lonely Crocodile in their class-led Collective Worship at the end of our work on Forgiveness.
During the latter part of the Spring Term, the children of Branscombe CE Primary School learned more about the life of Jesus through a special Collective Worship project based on the story of “The Three Trees”. This story tells of three trees dreaming of their future, one of being a treasure chest, the second dreaming of becoming a tall sailing ship that would carry kings and the third dreaming of being the tallest tree in the world and pointing the way to God. However, when the trees are chopped down, the first is taken to be made into a manger, the second is made into a small fishing boat and the third is left on the woodpile for a time before being made into a cross. Through this story, the children were led, over the course of a couple of weeks, in reflections about the significance of different parts of Jesus’ life and his eventual death and resurrection. Reflective areas were set out around the school and the children were introduced to these one by one. They in turn retold the story and reflected on its meaning in their end of term Easter service which was attended by parents and members of the church / local community.
After Easter, Class 2 did more work on the story as part of their textiles art project and made some collaborative works of art to be displayed in the “God at Work” exhibition at St. Andrews church, Colyton in June. This artwork was based on the work of artist Sue Symons. The children had explored her diptychs using abstract textile pictures and calligraphy in her projects, “Creation” (looked at during ‘Creativity’ Collective Worship theme earlier in the year) and “One Man’s Journey to Heaven”.
When the Class 2 children were studying an RE topic about Christian Signs and Symbols one of the pupils suggested that we make some symbols to have around the school and also to use on our focus table during Collective Worship. The children each made a symbol in clay and also worked in teams to decorate a wooden cross. One clay artefact is used each day in Collective Worship and there is now a cross hanging in each room of the school. Our Diocesan Education Adviser, Mrs Tatiana Wilson, visited the school to look at the children’s work.
When we were thinking about the value of Trust there was the terrible earthquake in Japan. At the time the children sent some money to the charity Shelterbox from the school Community Fund because we were talking about who people can trust to help them when life is difficult. Later in the term a representative from Shelterbox came to visit the school to thank the children for the donation and to show them what an actual shelterbox looks like and what is inside. We received a lovely e mail from him which is shared below:
"Please give my thanks to all the children for listening and joining in so well when I came to the school on Wednesday morning to speak about Shelterbox. I really enjoyed my visit and was so impressed by the interest shown and by the number of relevant questions asked by the children. The children present all seemed very happy and content and that must of course reflect on the care and attention they receive from you and the school's staff. Thank you for your support for Shelterbox which really is appreciated.
With kindest wishes to you, other members of your team and most importantly to all of the children."
For more information about Collective Worship at Branscombe please see our school policy on the Policy Page in this website.
The Value of Compassion
As part of this term’s “Compassion” theme in Collective Worship, the children of Branscombe C of E Primary school have been encouraged to consider how they might pray for the needs of others. Echoing the prayer boxes made in last year’s “Thy Kingdom Come” diocesan prayer project, some of the children have created special prayer boxes in which they can keep prayers they have written. As the term progresses, the children will be challenged to consider other ways in which they might show compassion for others, such as by sharing what they have, donating to charity or undertaking a fundraising project.