Collective Worship at Upper Wharfedale School

This summary is written with reference to the 1988 Education Reform Act and DfE Circular 1/94 which remain the current guidance on Collective Worship in school.

Whilst the term “worship” is most commonly used in reference to paying homage to a divine power or being, it can also refer to the celebration of/honour paid to individuals or things that we, as a community, consider worthy.

At Upper Wharfedale School our philosophy is that Collective Worship:

  • Should be appropriate to the diverse family, social and cultural backgrounds of our students; their ages and aptitudes
  • Is intrinsically connected to the day-to-day life, aspirations and concerns of our school
  • Should offer students the time to reflect personally on the lives of people who are worthy (for example: in terms of their compassion, courage etc)
  • Provides opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • Is an act which binds our school community together with common values and purpose
  • Should provoke a personal response in students (whether that be through thought, reflection or action)
  • Offers an opportunity to provoke feelings of awe and wonder, show gratitude, reflect our community’s diversity and promote British and other cultural values
  • Should enable students to reflect on and respond to ultimate questions
  • Should foster empathy and concern for the needs of others
  • Should open up our students’ minds to global learning and their role as a global citizen
  • Should offer students with a religious faith space to worship God in a personal way
  • Should offer students with no religious faith the opportunity to reflect on ethical living and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity
  • Offers a time of personal stillness and reflection for all

Acts of Collective worship at Upper Wharfedale School may include:

  • Drama
  • Music
  • Literature
  • The use of artefacts and imagery
  • Guest speakers
  • Student presentations and leadership

The majority of our acts of Collective Worship are “wholly or mainly Christian in character” as we draw out key principles, teachings and values from the Christian faith which will resonate with all members of our school community. For example, those of integrity, honesty, trust, compassion, love, forgiveness and kindness.

The Collective Worship calendar is planned on an annual basis and is communicated to all relevant staff in a timely manner. We do adapt and respond to emerging events during the year (for example: a natural disaster) and incorporate our school response to these developments.

The school is extremely proud of its Religious Education (RE) department which meets the needs of all students on roll through:

  • Curriculum delivery to all students at KS3 (Years 7-8) [74 hours at KS3]
  • Religious Studies Full Course (all students from Y9-10) [74 hours in Y9-10)
  • Religious Education [Core] in Y11 [via Deep Learning Days/Assembly programme]

We adhere to the North Yorkshire SACRE locally agreed KS3 curriculum and are active participants in local networks looking at/sharing best practice in these areas.

Collective Worship at Upper Wharfedale School is largely facilitated through:

  • The PSHE programme
  • Deep Learning Days [“drop-down”/themed days]
  • The Assembly programme
  • Diverse literary resources for whole-class reading in registration

Whilst we know that our parents/carers retain the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education and the Collective Worship programme; we are proud that the inclusive and diverse nature of our provision means that over 99% of our students participate.

Students at Upper Wharfedale School are offered regular, structured opportunities for personal development, reflection, worship and devotion.

We are proud of the diversity of our school community and believe that we offer a programme which celebrates this whilst offering opportunities for individuals to practice their personal faith.