Bishop Ian Ramsey Church of England Primary School

Collective Worship


Collective Worship at BIR

At Bishop Ian Ramsey CE Primary School, Collective Worship is a wonderful opportunity to share, reflect and explore personal beliefs, issues of identity, and questions of meaning and purpose. 

Our Collective Worship makes an important contribution to promoting our children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. It is also a vehicle for supporting inclusion as well as building community cohesion.

Collective Worship is a legal requirement of schools under the 1944 Education Act & was affirmed in subsequent legislation (1988 and 1996). In accordance with the law and the ethos of our school, the majority of acts of Collective Worship reflect the ‘broad traditions of Christian belief’. This does not restrict the focus exclusively to Christianity alone, but will sometimes include material from a range of  spiritual, religious and secular contexts.

The children are encouraged to explore ideas arising from the stimulus material presented by staff and visitors and invited to reflect on them from their own perspectives. There is never any intention to impose religious ideas or beliefs on pupils but often the material can raise issues and questions that are relevant to their lives, irrespective of their background.

There will always be a time of quiet when pupils are invited to reflect on the focus of the Worship, with an invitation to those children for whom it is appropriate to make their thoughts into a personal prayer. Sometimes words of traditional prayers are used to support that reflection.

Through Collective Worship at Bishop Ian Ramsey CE Primary School, our intentions are that:

  • Children will take part in a form of Collective Worship every day;
  • The collective worship will include the singing of hymns, choruses and songs and opportunities are given, both to join in with and to listen to prayers;
  • Time will also be provided for silence and reflection;
  • Each week will focus upon a Christian value. They will be varied and will always have a moral imperative whether based on Biblical topics or relating to the cycle of the seasons, the wonders of the world, the deeds of human kind or the celebration of religious festivals;
  • Themes will also relate to special days & celebrations plus the children’s interests;
  • The themes will be put forward in a variety of ways, e.g. through story, prose, poetry, drama, art, music, discussion;
  • Whilst the majority of assemblies will be Christian based, there will sometimes be a focus or reference to other faiths;
  • All members of staff are given the opportunity to lead Collective Worship;
  • Children are given the opportunity to take a lead;
  • Members of appropriate organisations are invited to share in Collective Worship.


Through the above, we intend that our children will:

  • have the opportunity to worship and to develop a relationship with God if they wish to;
  • develop an understanding of Christian values, where these originate and what these can add to their own life & practice;
  • develop respect and understanding of the self and of others;
  • create a sense of belonging and connecting to the world;
  • develop empathy and community with others;
  • provide security within which pupils can share their values and beliefs;
  • provide opportunities to question and reflect;
  • promote discernment and support pupils in combating prejudice;
  • encourage a sense of awe and wonder about the world.


At Bishop Ian Ramsey CE Primary School, we conduct assemblies and Collective Worship in a dignified and respectful manner. 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 manner. We ask them to be quiet and thoughtful and to listen carefully to the teachings and participate fully in prayer and singing. We create an appropriate atmosphere by using music and sometimes candles or other objects that act as a focal point for the attention of the children.

Our weekly cycle of Collective Worship

Our Collective Worship sessions take place every day at 9.10am.

  • Monday: Whole School Worship with Mr Mordue (Headteacher)
  • Tuesday: Open the Book
  • Wednesday:  Classroom Worship using iSing Pop
  • Thursday: Whole School Worship led by our Worship Leaders or a class teacher
  • Friday: Whole School Celebration Assembly and Worship where we join to celebrate the achievements of all

Bishop Ian Ramsey CE Primary School is part of the Durham Diocesan MAT. Durham Diocesan MAT is a company limited by guarantee (company number 10847279) and exempt charity registered in England and Wales at The Cai Building (fourth floor), Coble Dene, Royal Quays, North Shields, NE29 6DE.