The impact of collective worship on the school community is outstanding. Worship is at the centre of school life and is valued highly by the pupils. It is central to the mission of the school and is prominent in the documentation. Local clergy, senior staff, class teachers and pupils have the opportunity to lead worship in assemblies; those remaining in class have an excellent series of power point presentations to direct their thoughts during tutor periods. There is regular worship at St. Edward’s Church…From the questionnaires completed by learners it is evident that the majority enjoy the worship, especially when they play an active part in it. The Anglican practice is emphasised in the Eucharist and the observance of the major Christian Festivals although pupils of other denominations say they are fully included in this. The “Praise and Prayer” meeting of the Christian Union is valued highly by those who attend it.
The chaplaincy seeks to:
- strengthen the public presence of Christian ministry within the school;
- help students with the questions and problems which are part of their own spiritual journey;
- provide an additional resource of pastoral listening and spiritual care for staff as well as students;
- ensure that the chaplains are grounded in the life of the school;
- value and hear young people who can sometimes feel ignored and undervalued and thus show to them the commitment of both school and church;
- provide an extra resource for Religious Studies, PSHE and the pastoral curriculum, as appropriate, at the invitation of teachers.
Key to the expression of our faith is the team of volunteer Anglican chaplains attached to each year, who follow the students throughout their time in the school building on and strengthening the relationships and support structure established over time. Each chaplain has been invited to join our team by the Governing Body, and we are very grateful to them for their commitment to our pupils.
In addition to the services of the chaplains there is a group of around 50 ministers representing a full range of church traditions drawn from a diverse cultural background which mirrors the background of our students who come into school to lead assemblies. Lunchtime activities include occasional informal services such as Christian meditation and a prayer labyrinth.
We observe Christmas and Easter. At our annual Carol Services musicians, singers, readers and actors work together to celebrate the birth of Christ. For Easter, services are led by the students to mark both the events of Good Friday and Easter Day.
Staff come from many backgrounds and faith traditions, but all are committed to supporting the Christian ethos of the school.A worship group made up of staff and senior students by invitation meet regularly to discuss all services and they will take an active part in the planning and training of students to lead our worship.
The school seeks to develop its worship and aims to engage students and staff from a range of Christian traditions as an expression of our commitment to being an active church school.