At Shanklea Primary School, formal whole school and phase group assemblies are an important part of our SMSC programme and are used to re-inforce those values, which cohere our school community into one, which is acceptant, tolerant and respectful of others.
Assemblies take place each week on designated afternoons and are designed around themes with messages and key words, which are followed up in form time discussions and during timetabled subject lessons. Assemblies are used to embed the teaching of British Values.
Mondays Whole School Assembly Headteacher led Collective Worship or Reverend W. Doherty, Community Church Leader
Tuesdays Whole School Assembly teacher led
Wednesdays Whole School Assembly teacher led
Thursdays Whole School Assembly teacher led or class assembly
Fridays Phase achievement assemblies led by members of the School Leadership Team
The most recent legal statement of the requirements for collective worship (as distinct from assembly) are contained in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. These build on similar requirements in Section 346 of the Education Act 1996, the Education Reform Act 1988, and Section 25 of the 1944 Education Act, where the law on compulsory collective worship began. Section 70 of the 1998 Act states that, subject to the parental right of excusal or other special arrangements, “…each pupil in attendance at a community, foundation or voluntary school shall on each school day take part in an act of collective worship.”
Schedule 20 to the 1998 Act gives more detailed information on the worship requirements. It notes the different practical arrangements that are allowed: “a single act of worship for all pupils or separate acts of worship for pupils in different age groups or in different school groups.” A “school group” is defined as “any group in which pupils are taught or take part in other school activities”.
In community schools, the head teacher is responsible for collective worship provision, in consultation with the governors. The majority of acts of collective worship in any given school term should still be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”. In other acts of worship, consideration should be given to “circumstances relating to the family backgrounds of the pupils which are relevant for determining the character of the collective worship which is appropriate in their case” and to the “ages and aptitudes” of the pupils.
A “broadly Christian” act of worship must contain some elements which relate to the traditions of Christian belief and which accord a special status to Jesus Christ. (Circular 1/94, paragraph 63). Only on special occasions can the act of worship take place somewhere other than on the school premises, subject to the agreement of the head.