At Farway Church of England Primary School
the children take part in a daily act of Christian Collective Worship during which we aim to encourage them to define their own beliefs and values. Parents can decide whether their children should take part in the daily act of collective worship in the school and those wishing to withdraw their children should inform the headteacher in writing. We have positive links with the local Church, its clergy and congregation. The school participates in major festivals in church with special services and a weekly worship which parents and the wider community are invited to.
We conduct acts of Collective Worship in a dignified and respectful way. We tell children that assembly time is a period of calm reflection. We regard it as a special time and expect children to behave in an appropriate way. As children come into Collective Worship calming music is played. We ask children to be quiet and thoughtful and to listen carefully to the teachings and participate fully in prayer and hymns. A candle is lit during these times which is placed on a focus table with other artefacts.
The acts of Collective Worship are based around promoting the teaching of eighteen Christian values - Courage, Trust, Creativity, Justice, Forgiveness, Peace, Humility, Truth, Thankfulness, Compassion, Hope, Friendship, Generosity, Respect and Reverence, Wisdom, Service, Perseverance and Responsibility. One value is focused on each half term over a three year cycle. We believe these values are clearly Christian in nature but are universal in their application. Collective Worship will also follow the traditions of the Christian faith and often reflect the festivals and events of the Christian calendar.
Throughout the 'Values for Life' teaching a number of approaches are used:
- A range of questions are used to help the whole school community reflect on each value,
- Bible stories that are relevant to the theme
- Stories from world faiths, which illustrate the value
- The use of well known children's texts which support the value
- Interactive displays for children to follow up the discussions in Collective Worship.
There is a display in the school entrance hall which promotes the value currently being taught. The displays always have an interactive element. Children may be encouraged to write poems or draw pictures for the display and may be given opportunities to encourage prayer, e.g. by having outlines of doves to write the subject of a 'peace' prayer, or placing pebbles in a bowl of water once a prayer has been said.Open the Book
Every month the children enjoy members of the church community coming to tell them Bible Stories through the ‘Open the Book’ programme.
The Story of the Three Trees
During our preparation for Easter 2017 we have been thinking of the story of 'The Three Trees' which is a traditional Christian folktale. All three of these trees felt they had lost their value and their worth; they were discouraged and so disappointed, not one of their dreams had come to pass. All three trees thought their stories were over, yet they became integral part of the greatest story ever told. One tree became the manger that the baby Jesus was laid in. The second was made into the fishing boat that Jesus travelled in with his disciples and the third became Jesus' cross.
We are telling the story in interactive, reflective spaces in the school grounds.
Ethos Group - Spring Term 2018
On Tuesday 27th March, the Jubilee Federation Ethos team met together at Branscombe school. The focus of this term’s meeting was to develop our understanding of prayer and its place in the life of each of our schools. The children discussed their own views and experiences, explored a range of Bible verses about prayer and learned about different types of prayer. They were introduced to the acronym, ‘STOP and pray’ to help remember prayers of penitence (Sorry), thanksgiving (Thank you), intercession (Others) and petition (Please). Then, the children experimented with different prayer activities, such as prayer dominoes, using play dough to model the things they were thankful or sorry for, using a labyrinth to aid meditation, using a passage of scripture and even using a set of playing cards to guide their prayers. Hopefully, the children in the Ethos team will be sharing some of these ideas with their classmates in next term’s times of Collective Worship.
Easter Service 2018
Children, staff and parents joined together in the village church for an Easter Service led by the pupils.
Exeter Cathedral Pilgrim Day
On Tuesday 25th June 2019 our Year 4 and 6 children travelled to Exeter Cathedral for a special 'Pilgrim' day. This began with a short service. The children then broke up into groups with their friends from across the Jubilee Federation. Each group took part in two workshops, although these were not the same for all groups. Some of the children visited St. Nicholas Priory, others went to the Devon and Exeter Institute or other parts of the Cathedral. They explored the theme of pilgrimage in various ways. This included; looking at old books about journeys, some of which were up to three hundred years old! Some groups explored the symbols and souvenirs of pilgrimage and made Shrinkies as souvenirs of their Pilgrim Day. Others made 'shell boxes' containing a special verse, prayer or saying, to encourage them on the pilgrimage of life. Throughout the day, the children were encouraged to reflect about their own journey of life and the 'staging posts' along the way.
The day ended with another special service in the choir stalls of the Cathedral. During this special service, children from each of the participating schools were presented with a certificate and candle to take back to their school. Mrs Gray was delighted to receive a phone call following the visit from the Diocesan Director, complimenting the pupils of the Jubilee Federation on their excellent behaviour and enthusiasm during this special day.
The Farway Children took part in a heartfelt Remembrance Day service at Farway Church. They sang some songs, read some special poems, and laid wreaths.
Vision Day 2019
On the 20th November Farway relaunched the Jubilee Federation Vision statement, ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.’ The children re-explored this vision by asking themselves who they thought God meant them to be and why. They took part in various creative activities to further explore this idea. They created a modroc model of themselves, designed a stain glass window for their classroom and produced a wonderful book of writing, called ‘Who God meant me to be'.
Earlier in the year, Exeter Cathedral asked local schools to design and create an angel to display in their Christmas Angel sculpture display. Here at Farway, the children helped to create a willow angel, during a Forest School session. The angel was the size of a small child, draped with fairy lights and looked absolutely fabulous! The children were really proud of their Angel sculpture.
The willow for this sculpture was kindly donated by Windrush Willow.
Open the Book
On Tuesday 10th December 2019 the 'Open the Book' team came into school to perform their special version of the Nativity story.
'Open the Book' is a project that aims to bring the Bible to life - offering primary school children an opportunity to hear major stories of the Bible, from a team of Christians from local churches, who present the stories during assemblies or acts of Collective Worship. As always the team was warmly received, some of the children joined in, dressing up as characters in the story and everyone enjoyed the performance.