Our Collective Acts of Worship
We begin each morning with our collective worship, an opportunity to come together to offer praise to God and to learn from his word. Our worship is collective in that it involves meeting, exploring, questioning, and responding to others and, for some, to God. In our school pupils, their families and other adults can expect to encounter worship that is inclusive of, and fully accessible to, all.
Whilst RE covers all religions prevalent within our community, our times of worship are unashamedly Christian. We do however recognise that many pupils and staff at William Ford come from homes of different faith backgrounds as well as of no faith background. Moreover, many pupils will naturally be at different stages of their spiritual journey during their time in school. Pupils will be given the opportunity to think and ask questions. Space will be made to consent, and dissent: to participate and to stand back; and to consider. One way in which we facilitate this is by having a worship a week in class, via Zoom, where there is the opportunity to discuss, challenge and question. This follows on from our curriculum work where each topic starts with a 'Big Question' that incorporates scripture and discussion linked to the upcoming learning. We want our pupils to question, debate, discuss and learn to disagree well.
It is an expectation that care will be taken to ensure that the language used by those facilitating worship avoids assuming faith in all those participating, listening and watching.
The style of worship at William Ford is contemporary in nature but is true to the Bible. Songs, prayers, times of quiet and reflection, bible readings stories and dramas complement the discussions that also take place in school.
The metaphor of ‘warm fires and open doors’ captures our view of participation in worship. The warmth of the fire derives from the clarity and authenticity of the Christian message at its heart. William Ford governors and leadership believe there is no value to an encounter with a watered down, lowest common denominator version of faith. Importantly the door is open, all are welcome to come in and sit as near or as far away from the fire as they feel comfortable. Pupils and adults should always only be invited to pray if they wish to do so and should be invited to pray in their own way. Prayer will always be accompanied by the option to reflect. The school respects parents' right to withdraw from worship which should be discussed with he Headteacher.
Our Learning Council work with the Headteacher to ensure that our worship is relevant to their lives and enables all pupils to flourish and to ‘live life in all its fullness’ John 10:10. Agendas and minutes of such meetings are available on the pupil voice section of our website.
As Covid restrictions loosen, we will be looking for ways to invite parents to collective worship but are limited by the size of our hall. Should a parent request to view one of our worship times, they should contact the school office and the school will ensure it does its best to honour this request.