Teachers and children from six CofE schools in the Farnham area gathered last week to share ideas about worship, in what one headteacher described as “an oasis in a busy term”.
On Monday 10 October, members of the worship teams at All Saints Infants (Tilford), Puttenham Infants, St John’s Infants (Churt), St Mary’s Infants (Shackleford), St Peter’s Primary (Wrecclesham) and Waverley Abbey Junior School spent the day at St John’s Church in Puttenham discussing and practising collective worship and prayer areas in their schools.
The day was structured around group work, in which representatives from each school explained worship activities they practice, for teams to then choose some to trial in their own setting.
Sarah Dunning, headteacher at St Peter’s CofE Primary School, Wreccelsham, said: “It was a wonderful workshop. There was a wealth of ideas and every school took away something new. Our school will definitely be using a story in a box in their class worship sessions from now on – the children were so engaged with the parable as they focussed on the objects which told the story.”
The idea-sharing initiative began as a collaboration between St Peter’s and Waverley Abbey schools, who regularly observe and give feedback on each other’s collective worship. This was the first time, however, that the invitation was extended to the local infants schools, allowing them to see the benefits of ‘sharing expertise’ as part of ‘nurturing education’, two goals in the new diocesan vision Transforming Church, Transforming Lives.
Sarah added: “It was very special to be able to encourage and work with each other to make the worship in our schools even stronger. As school leaders we felt blessed that we could share our work that helps to make our schools distinctly Christian. We plan to meet again in a few months’ time.”
Jane Whittington, diocesan schools officer, who facilitated the worship day, commented: “It was a pleasure to see how seriously the children take worship and prayer in their schools. They joined in thoughtfully and had some super ideas to take back to their schools.
“We are grateful to St John the Baptist Church in Puttenham for making us welcome in their refurbished church for the day.”