The spiritual life of our school is built on a rhythm of prayer and worship that is central to the Bishop Ellis community. Prayer and worship form a part of everyday life in school. A ‘formal’ rhythm of prayer and worship (see below) provides a solid foundation on which our children and staff can nurture their spiritual selves and live out our school values; to love God, to aspire to be the best person we can be, to be honest, to forgive and to care.
Monday - Headteacher's Assembly
Mrs Henry leads the assembly on a Monday morning. This assembly is always closely linked to scripture and the children complete follow-up work during the week that relates to what they have learnt in this assembly.
Tuesday - Whole School Liturgy
Each class is responsible for leading two assemblies for the rest of the school during the course of the school year. Usually, these assemblies are linked to what the children have been learning about in their R.E. lessons. They are really brilliant assemblies, prepared and led by the children.
Wednesday - Class Worship
Children take part in worship in their class. This can be teacher-led, but in KS2 particularly, this is increasingly child-led and every child will be given opportunities to lead class worship either individually or as part of a group during the school year. Children plan and deliver these acts of worship independently.
Thursday - Key Stage Assemblies
Worship on a Thursday is led by a member of teaching staff and the children meet in their key stage groupings. The focus during this worship is on the readings (especially the Gospel reading) that will be read at Mass on the following Sunday. The children are encouraged to think carefully about the Word of God and to reflect on what they have heard. They are given a mission to leave with - something that they will carry forward with them into the weekend and try to apply in their daily lives.
Friday - Key Stage Sharing Assembly
On a Friday, two children from each class are chosen to be presented with a certificate in Sharing Assembly. Children are rewarded with certificates for many different reasons - both academic and non-academic - and this gathering is a perfect place in which to share and celebrate the children's achievements. In the special prayer that children say at this assembly, we are reminded that we must give thanks to God for our talents and for the people in our lives who make our successes possible. There is also an opportunity at the end of this assembly for children to show trophies, medals, certificates and other things that they have achieved outside school and to talk about their achievements. If your child will be receiving a certificate at a Sharing Assembly, you will receive a letter the day before to inform you and to invite you to share in your child’s success at this assembly.
Children are also given opportunities to pray and worship at different times during the school day and this can take various forms, such as meditation. Across the school, children say morning, lunchtime and afternoon prayers. On one lunchtime per week, the children in the Chaplaincy team organise and lead a short prayer session and this is open to everyone in school to join in; it is another opportunity for quiet (mostly!) prayer and reflection. During Advent and Lent, the Chaplaincy team organise and lead prayer and activity sessions planned around the Church’s season.
Additionally, each class in the school will celebrate a Mass or a liturgy with one of our parish priests on two occasions during the school year, to which all parents and carers are warmly invited and very welcome to attend. We greatly value the presence of parents and carers at these celebrations. Please see the Masses and Liturgies section of this website for further information.