Harvest Festival - Holme Cultram Abbey, Wed 2nd October 2pm
Kidz Christian Club - Wednesday 3-4pm, in the school hall (weekly)
Community Messy church - Wednesday 16th October, 3-4.30pm (all welcome)
Community Worship - School hall, 2.30pm (led by EYFS and Yr 5&6)
About our worship
Collective worship is much valued feature of the school’s daily life at HCA. It is a joyful, participatory and thought provoking experience for everyone. Planning ensures that we think deeply about a range of Bible stories, festivals, global issues and inspirational figure heads underpinned by important Christian beliefs and values. The school worships both collectively and in primary phase groups on a weekly basis and each half term cumulates in a community worship which is planned and led by the children in mixed age groups.
Worship happens both inside and outside of the classroom and dedicated times such as our prayer space day enhance the importance of how prayer can make a positive impact to one’s life. We also worship with the local community at special times of year in the local Abbey and attend shared worship with the residents of our local care home on a monthly basis.
Pupils love singing, particularly action songs, acting out stories, answering interesting questions and they are highly appreciative of the contributions of local clergy and other visitors. Our newly introduced ‘Worship Crew’ frequently deliver aspects of worship and evaluate the worship on a regular basis. This includes the pupils preparing the worship space, choosing and playing music , leading prayers, taking pictures and writing reflective comments.
Pupils gain a good understanding of the purpose of prayer, both through writing prayers and interacting with activities around school or in the grounds outside. Use of reflective spaces in classrooms and outdoor areas encourages pupils to reflect or pray. The moving prayers written by pupils are regularly included in the newsletter and parish magazine are appreciated by the wider community.
Class reflection areas provide a space for children to be quiet and peaceful. They provide positive affirmations, challenge thoughts and feelings and incorporate prayer in many different ways. Our reflection spaces, always include a variety of Bibles and faith stories, crosses and other Christian symbols.
RE is a high priority at HCA and is much enjoyed by both the staff and pupils. We plan from the Cumbria RE syllabus, which our Religious Education Leader has broken down into key learning stands for each key stage. Our RE teaching is predominantly Christian in nature but complemented by exploration of other world faiths. We also hold a Global RE week, have a focus religion each half term and hold regular multisensory, festival days.
Following whole school training, we are currently enhancing the teaching of RE by revising our curriculum and supporting it with the ‘Understanding Christianity’ units, paying particular reference to the ‘Big Story’. This scheme focuses on developing a deeper understanding of theology and enriches the children’s language, which is currently a key target for us. Alongside this, our RE lead is developing a key vocabulary spine for each key stage, to develop the children’s understanding of key language associated with Christianity. To complement our class reflection areas we have also created RE book baskets to develop the children’s personal interest in religious literacy and reading.
Our local minister is a big support to the staff and spends time each year enhancing our wider curriculum plans by highlighting particular and important Christian links. These are weaved into our everyday teaching and really make connections to the impact that Christianity has on Britain’s cultural heritage and the lives of people worldwide. For example KS1 cover a historical and geographical unit that explores the impact King Henry VIIIs rein had on our local Abbey and the impact this had on our geographical landscape. He also introduced us to the ‘Cumbria Bible Challenge’ which the children have completed for the last two years. This has really encouraged the children to explore and respond to the Gospel of Luke.
We are currently embedding a new assessment system which allows the children to demonstrate their knowledge through observation, participation, recorded work and discussion. The assessment links directly to the taught objectives and each child completes a discussion and review spider diagram at the end of each half term. This allows the staff to gain a holistic view of what each child has leant, address gaps in their learning and plan for new lessons led from their interests and ideas.