Religious Education & Collective Worship
“Wisdom is the most important thing. So get wisdom.” (Proverbs 4:7)
Religious Education helps students to explore the depths of wisdom, hope and dignity in different faiths; to listen to the opinions of others; to learn from different traditions; and to discuss controversial issues with sensitivity. Religious Education provides a framework for students to pursue the big questions such as “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, “What do I desire?” and “How then Shall I live?” Religious Education encourages students to make connections with their own spiritual journey and by doing so to grow closer to God.
Religious Studies lessons teach our students respect for all backgrounds and beliefs. The major world faiths are studied in Years 7 and 8; Christianity and Islam are studied in depth to GCSE level. We are proud of the diversity in our school and learn to listen to each other as we explore different cultures, faiths and Christian traditions.
“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.” (Psalm 101:1)
We hold a daily act of Collective Worship which forms the heart of our community life at school. Our worship is rooted in the Christian tradition of the Church of England, but we work hard to ensure that our worship is inclusive and welcoming to everyone in our school community, both Christian and non-Christian. Collective Worship takes several forms to provide a wide range of experiences:
Assembly takes place in the school hall every week. It is an opportunity for the Learning Community to meet together to worship and pray, to reflect on our school values and their meaning in our lives, to grow together as a family and to celebrate each other’s achievements.
Thought for the Day is a daily reflection which takes place within each mixed-age Advisory group in their classroom. It is a reflection which draws on scripture, the school values, contemporary issues and students’ personal experience. It may be led by the Advisor, students within the Advisory, or a visitor.
Faith on Friday is a short time of reflection and contemplative prayer delivered by class teachers during Period 1 on Fridays. It is based on the Ignatian Examen and provides a moment of stillness and spiritual reflection for staff and students.
Church services happen several times a year in our parish church, St John the Divine. We go to church for important festivals and special occasions in the life of the school, such as Saint Gabriel’s Day at Michaelmas and the Prefect Commissioning Service.
Chapel worship includes Eucharistic and non-Eucharistic acts of worship, which include prayer stations and Taize services. Governors, students and staff are involved in the design of the new chapel, working with the School Chaplain.
Stillness, quiet, and contemplation are important parts of the Christian tradition and are included in collective worship. Where appropriate, Christian meditation and mindfulness is offered to students and staff.
The Chapel was designed by students, staff and governors alongside the School Chaplain. It is a beautiful, warm and welcoming space.
As an inclusive Christian school, we welcome students of all faiths and no faith and we are delighted that almost all our students, including most Muslim and Hindu students, are able to attend church services and participate in the service as much as they feel able to.
The SGC Way asks parents, carers and students to support the Christian ethos of our school. As such we strongly encourage all students, of whatever faith, to come to church. However, parents and carers have the right to withdraw students from all or part of collective worship for religious reasons, and we respect their right to do so. A very small minority of students are withdrawn from church services and have alternative provision in school. Parents and carers wishing to withdraw a student from Collective Worship or Religious Education lessons should do so in writing to the School Chaplain.