Worship at John Cross is a special time for all children and staff to spend some time together as a community before the lessons begin. The aims of worship are:
1. To develop, through daily worship, the children's knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith by learning about and reflecting on its beliefs, practices and values.
2. To enrich the children's lives by building upon or introducing them to a relationship with God giving them a greater understanding of Him and themselves.
3. To enrich the children's experiences of prayer, worship and hymns.
4. To provide a time for thought and reflection and to promote spiritual well being.
5. To promote a sense of awe and wonder about God, His creation and ourselves as part of His world.
Worship begins with music, the lighting of a candle or the introduction of a special focus such as a vase of flowers, an image, a cross, a natural object or significant artefact. The children are invited to join quietly in this special time to think and reflect on Christian messages and values. There is time to listen, observe, participate, reflect, be still and sing. Everyone in worship is invited to join in singing hymns or song which are accompanied with live music played by the teachers or a CD. Children are invited to join in with the prayers. Worship concludes with the candle being extinguished and the children departing back to class whilst music is played.
The pattern of worship will follow: Gathering, Engaging, Responding, Sending It will include:
The on-going activities from worship are designed to promote positive attitudes such as curiosity and to explore religious ideas through reflection, empathy and imagination. In addition they encourage respect, to recognise the needs and concerns of others and to develop a balanced sense of self-worth and value. Worship is linked to God’s Big Story which is displayed in each classroom This provides a framework to ensure that the Bible stories taught are linked together effectively in order to develop a solid understanding of the key concepts of the Christian faith.
Our Worship Policy
Children's responses to prayer and worship
Class 3's worship in church
Our class worship answered the question, What happens when the trust gets broken? William, Henry and Ronnie put a clip together of willing volunteers from the playground who told us when they have broken something. We then told and acted out 4 different parts of the story of Peter and Isaac asked all of the school whether Peter was showing trust or distrust. All of us used puppets to sing to a song about Peter walking on water in which Zach and Henry did an expert job of using their puppets to be Jesus and Peter. We included a reflection time, song and prayers. We answered our question by telling everyone how Jesus forgave Peter for not trusting him and this restored their friendship so much that Jesus even trusted Peter to set up the first church.
Students from around the world
On Tuesday 28th February, we welcomed 4 students from Northern Ireland, Canada, North Korea and the USA into school for the afternoon. They led worship first and then spent time in Class 4 where they hot seated as characters from the story of Moses whilst the Year 5 & 6 children asked them lots of questions. In Classes 2 & 3, they told the children and answered questions about life in their countries and how they celebrate Easter. They also managed to fit in singing some worship songs with the children in Class 1.
Starting the school day in church.
Once very half term, we start the school day in church. This is led by Garry or by one of the classes. On Ash Wednesday, Garry teaches us about the significance of Ash Wednesday and if we would like to, we can have an ash cross put on our foreheads.
Once a term, the children engage in reflective worship which is always based on a theme. The children rotate around different stations where they are given the opportunity to complete the activity which may include an invitation to pray, think quietly, discuss or draw/write their thoughts. The feedback is always very positive and the children often request worship sessions in this format.
One example of this is our Remembrance Day reflective activities which we have run in 2022 and 2021
The worship leaders planned, organised and led a reflective activity for the other children in KS2 complete. Their activities were also completed in KS1 but with an adult supervising. The atmosphere was beautiful with the children engaging calmly, respectfully and thoughtfully throughout the worship session.
At John Cross, creative worship is very important to us because it offers a different way to help the children to engage meaningfully.
Each term, one class leads a whole school worship that is based on their topic of the school Christian Value that term.
November 2022: Class 4
Class 4 led a worship in church which summed up what we have been learning about through this term's Christian Value which is compassion. They talked about how they were going to put this into practice by helping their parents and grandparents.
Class 3's worship in the Summer term was written and led by the children ( with support from Mrs Irwin) and was based on how humans impact God's world and what we can do to look after the many species of plants and animals.
On Tuesdays each class has its own worship time which enables children within the class to participate or lead parts of the worship.
The whole class did a lovely worship based on their creation topic. They sang a song, told us about the interesting facts they had learnt about God's creatures and said some prayers.
Class 2's worship was all about God's wonderful world.
Debbie from NISCU visits us every term and this term, she talked about this term's Christian Value which is hope. We also had a visit from Julie from IAT who explained and showed us pictures of how our collection of aid for the Ukrainian children had helped them.
Worship in church
Every term, we start one of our school days in church. Garry leads the worship and parents and siblings are invited to join in too.
Here's some photos of Ash Wednesday when Garry also taught us about the importance of communion and demonstrated what happens during communion in a church service.
The worship planning
The worship is discussed and planned by the worship leaders, vicar and worship coordinator. Each term, our worship explores our Christian value as well as important events in the Christian calendar. Topics that the worship leaders think are important such as the Bible or prayer are also included.