Prayer and Liturgy
Where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.
Prayer and liturgy play a fundamental part of daily school life. It enables us to all join together as one in prayer and worship. Collective worship provides an opportunity for pupils and staff to come together as a class, group or school community and express praise and thanks giving to God. It provides an opportunity for the children to be still and reflect on life’s events and questions of meaning and purpose; to foster respect and deepen spiritual awareness and reflect on the teachings of Jesus and the nature of God. It is a time to affirm Christian values and Catholic virtues and share in each other’s joys and challenges.
Pupils are encouraged to learn a range of traditional prayers in each year group, but are also encouraged to formulate their own personal prayers. (Please see the progression of prayer learned in each year.)
Every classroom has a focal point for prayer which is appropriate to the liturgical season.
The first task in life is this: prayer. But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; the prayer of the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord.
Children are introduced to a variety of different ways of praying.
- quiet reflection / meditation
- spontaneous prayer
- praying together
- writing our own prayers
- prayers through music
- learning traditional Catholic prayers
All classes are named after a saint and children are encouraged to pray to their special saint.
Types of Collective Worship
Collective Worship is distinct from other kinds of prayer experiences, for example, prayer at the beginning and end of the school day and grace before meals. Collective worship can be adult or pupil-led. It follows the four-part structure, which reflects the liturgical pattern: Gather – Listen – Respond – Mission
Pupil-led Collective Worship
Class Collective Worship
In EYFS and KS1, pupils are introduced to the four-part structure and they become familiar with well-known bible stories, simple prayers and symbolic actions. They are progressively included in the planning and leading of Collective Worship, supported closely by teachers until they are ready to lead their own Collective Worship.
In KS2, pupils plan and lead their own Collective Worship experiences which are personal and highly original.
Prayers Across Borders
Our Pupil Chaplaincy Team supports pupils across the school with Collective Worship and join other schools across the Deanery in Fratelli Tutti: Prayers across borders, an online pupil-led Collective Worship each month.
Adult-led Collective Worship
Headteacher’s Gospel Assembly
Weekly Gospel assemblies led by the Headteacher provide an opportunity for pupils and staff to come together to reflect on the Gospel of the week, current events and other events inspired by the liturgical calendar.
Children take part in weekly Hymn Practice assemblies. During these assemblies, pupils learn and rehearse hymns and religious songs. Pupils reflect on the lyrics, how they link to scripture and consider the message of the psalmist/song writer.
All teachers take it in turns to lead Praise assemblies weekly. During these assemblies, pupils celebrate the gifts, talents and achievements of all children in our St John Fisher family. Awards are given for recognition of academic achievements, living the Gospel Values & Virtues, as well as demonstrating our school ‘Learning Powers’.