SMSC AND ASSEMBLIES
Values and Aims
The primary function of collective worship at Weatherfield Academy is an educational one, that is to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development.
In light of this, collective worship at our school is:
a) active, rather than passive (e.g. children are actively involved in answering questions)
b) directed towards something (e.g. a value/someone)
c) personal (e.g. time for reflection and response to God if appropriate)
The expectation is that school worship will be inclusive, participative, challenging and educational, drawing on a wide range of religious traditions without compromising the religious or non-religious backgrounds of pupils (and staff), whilst giving those for whom it is appropriate the opportunity to worship God.
Collective worship at Weatherfield is unique and different. It gives us the opportunity to collect together, to meet together. It is a collection of differences – different abilities, different faiths, different cultures, different ages and different backgrounds. It is a focal point of the day or week for our school community where all ages can meet one another, share together and establish a shared sense of identity.
This may be online or in person. Due to the size of the hall and the growing numbers of pupils and staff, there is a rota in place to ensure every pupil has a time in the hall as well as giving opportunities for others to gather.
Collective Worship and Assemblies
Weatherfield Academy Collective worship and assembly are distinct activities, although they may take place as part of the same gathering.
Collective worship is a special time for pupils to reflect upon life experiences and ultimate questions and, if appropriate, focus on God. It should allow the pupils to be able to make a spiritual response.
An assembly is a gathering of part or all of the school. It is concerned with administrative matters and other announcements about school life. Weatherfield has distinct times to gather for achievement assemblies, singing assemblies and curriculum assemblies. These can be made into an act of collective worship through the addition of an opportunity for reflection or prayer at the end of these times. Without it they stay as an assembly.
2023-24 SMSC and Assemblies are as follows:
Thought for the Week launches weekly - can be discussed and reflected on at various times in the week.
Lower School assembly
KS4 and 5 assembly
Whole school collective worship/ celebration assembly (Lower School and KS4 in the hall one week, then Lower School and KS5 the other, with the other key stage joining us online).
Throughout the year, different key stages will be responsible for sharing their thoughts and understanding of key calendar events.
Mixed groups - Harvest
Lower School - Remembrance
Collective Worship and Fundamental British Values
Collective worship makes an important contribution to developing pupils’ understanding of fundamental British values as defined by Ofsted. Effective SMSC development can support pupils in better understanding and applying these fundamental British values.
The format and overview of themes has been organised by Mrs S Payne for 2023-24. She will share links for important days to reflect and engage with as well as provide a Thought for the Week for classes to discuss and reflect on. Dr S Robinson will share the responsibility by organising singing assemblies, music for collective worship, and supporting the key events such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter.
Affirmations and Prayers
We are developing the way we share faith. We have created a school affirmation rather than a prayer which we say every assembly in order to be more inclusive for members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of other faiths and those without a faith.
Our affirmation is:
I am kind, I am thoughtful and I am brave. I will keep trying even when it is hard and won't give up. I will treat others the way I want to be treated. In all I do, I am the best person I can be.
Where prayer is included in our acts of worship, it is introduced with a form of words that invites but does not coerce pupils to participate. We hope that pupils who prefer not to pray will use these moments to reflect on the important messages shared in our worship.
Collective Worship should be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian Character
This statement means that collective worship at Weatherfield must reflect the broad traditions of Christian belief. It does not mean that all acts of collective worship should contain only Christian material.
There are religious and human values that many religions and life stances (e.g. Humanism) have in common, e.g. justice, love, peace, charity, sacrifice, morality, saying sorry. Worship with a theme such as ‘forgiveness’ or ‘honesty’ is broadly Christian even if specific Christian material is not used.
A significant minority can be broadly of the character of other world religions. Across a term, the majority of the acts of collective worship should be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character, however, pupils will reflect on a wide range of beliefs and faiths.
Our policy sets out clearly our aspiration that collective worship will be a valuable and valued experience for all members of Weatherfield school community whatever their backgrounds and beliefs. It is invitational and reflective in nature and never coercive or indoctrinatory.
Parents have a right to withdraw their children from all or any acts of worship and staff (and students in the sixth form) are also free to withdraw from involvement in this aspect of school life.
We request that those who wish to exercise this right inform the Head Teacher in writing so that school records are accurate.