Inspiring Pupil Leaders of Collective Worship

Last week, children from fifteen Church of England schools across the diocese gathered for a Pupil Leaders of Collective Worship Conference at Southwell Minster. Children took part in four sessions to inspire their worship in school.

Revd Dave Gough from St Anne’s Worksop explored practical ideas for creatively opening and closing collective worship. Children were encouraged to consider how they could use songs and actions as part of the entrance and exits from worship time. Oliver and Saul from Lowdham CofE Primary School both loved the “Oi Oi” song, with Oliver adding: “The song helps us to talk about God in a fun way!”

John Dodd, a church school governor and retired head teacher, motivated pupils to think about bringing the Bible to life through storytelling. With actions and sounds, children considered how they could get everybody involved in the story of Noah’s Ark and Jesus calming the storm.

Pupils from St Mary and St Martin CofE Primary School in Blyth said this was their favourite session. Charlie said, “My favourite part was the acting. We got to pretend to be Jesus and the disciples. We can get other children involved who aren’t leaders like us.” Harry then added: “It was fun to see how you can switch up Bible stories and tell them in new ways.”

Jane Lewis, Diocesan School Adviser, led a session on how creating a physical space for worship contributes to the effectiveness of their worship time. The children were invited to think about what religious items could be part of their table such as a cross and shells. Sophia from Woodborough Wood’s Foundation CofE Primary School said, “I like learning about what we can put on our worship table like things from the playground because God created nature.”

A session on prayer and reflection was led by Anne Lumb, Diocesan School Adviser. Children learned about the many kinds of prayers they can use in school worship. There was a focus on learning the meaning of the Lord’s prayer and children had the opportunity to put actions to the prayer. Worksop Priory CofE Primary Academy pupil, Flynn, said: “I enjoyed learning about what the different lines in the Lord’s Prayer mean.”

Children were then given time to share their own ideas and create a plan for changing their collective worship. Summer from St John’s CofE Academy, Worksop, reflected: “It’s helped us to think about new ideas – we can do more than tech and chairs, we can expand and explore worship.”

Telling Bible Stories with John
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