As a Church School, as well as regular Ofsted inspections, we also undergo the National Society’s Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS). When last inspected we were deemed ‘outstanding’.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we embrance the true attriibutes of a Christian life:
“The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Galatians 5 verses 22-23
At Bluecoat, the children are encouraged to celebrate these fruit when they see them in each other. In each classroom, a ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ tree is displayed and children understand them and chat freely about them, recognising and celebrating fellow pupils for using their Fruit of the Spirit.
What do we mean by Collective Worship?
As a Church of England School, Collective Worship (CW) is valued as a central part of the daily life of the school, when the whole school family is invited to come together for an act of worship which is presented in many different forms. It lasts around 15-20 minutes and usually includes some simple Anglican liturgy, a song, a thought for the day, a prayer and an opportunity for reflection. Our acts of worship have a Christian focus, especially on the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ. Children and adults of all faiths and of non should feel able to participate and respond in their own ways.
We follow a termly theme which is often linked to our whole school theme for the curriculum, e.g. Autumn 2021 Curriculum theme – "Long, Long Ago"; CW theme – “God's Story of Peace”
Due to the size of our school, CW takes place in both halls, mostly in chapters, but with opportunities for crossover of chapters, e.g in house groups, or paired class sessions. Staff are encouraged to lead CW for all Chapters.
Worship is ecumenical, bringing many different Christian traditions and leaders together, and it is inclusive. Prayers are said in class before lunch and at the end of the day.
As well as staff, who else leads our Collective Worship?
At Bluecoat, we are blessed with a strong team of regular visitors from local churches who lead our Thursday CW sessions. These visitors include members of the various local churches, clergy, governors, youth workers, and parents. We are very grateful for the commitment of these visitors to our school.
As well as these regular visitors, Bluecoat’s door is always open to other visitors from near and far.
Who are the Ethos Ambassadors?
As Collective Worship is for the whole school community, we want to involve the children as much as possible. For several years now at the start of each year, classes choose one person from each class to represent them as Ethos Ambassadors. This is led by our school’s CW Coordinator who is often accompanied by one of the foundation governors.
During the group meetings, they discuss a variety of topics such as our CW programme, church services, ways that children can be more involved in taking part in CW, ideas for highlighting CW, Religion and World Views and spirituality in general throughout the school.
The group is often asked to meet with visitors to the school such as members for the Exeter Diocese and inspectors. They will also be called on to have conversations about their learning with the Ethos Group, which includes governors, or the Senior Leadership of the school.
Some of their duties as a group involve setting up the hall for CW, leading simple liturgical parts of the programme, saying prayers, playing a part in our special services.
What does the Ethos Group do?
The Ethos group was set up as a means of measuring the ‘spiritual vibrancy’ of the school. The group comprises of representatives of the senior Leadership team, teachers, governors and the CW/R&WV coordinator. The group seeks to
be fully integrated into the school and the governing body and not to be a separate group that only deals with the spiritual side of the school’s development.
ensure that CW and R&WV are integrated through the school improvement plan.
think about how links are made to the community locally and globally eg through the churches, Exeter Diocese, school council, special events.
make strong links to SMSC within the school.
In January, we hold a Toy Service to mark Epiphany. Children are encouraged to bring an unwanted toy that is in good condition. These toys are given to Mags Zaharia who then sends them to Little John’s House and its local schools in Romania.
Our Easter services are lively celebrations of the life of Jesus.
In July we hold our End of Year services in St Michael’s Church. At our Chapter 2 service we are always very grateful to Torrington Baptist Church for the Bibles which are presented to our Year 2 children.
Our Harvest service always results in a colourful display of food which is then given to the food bank. Perishable food is taken to local care homes when Year 1 and 2 classes go to visit.
Our Remembrance service is always a poignant reminder of those who gave their lives in war and those who are still involved in our armed services today.
As with many schools, Christmas is probably the busiest time of year with lots of special events happening.
Any other Collective Worship events?
Of course our Collective Worship doesn't just happen during special times of the day or year. We also celebrate through:
Celebrations of Learning
Working with charities
Collective Worship in Forest School
World Book Day
Being a Global School
Class Collective Worship
Do we get out and about in the Community?
Definitely! The children are encouraged to be active members of the local community and the wider global community, as individuals and as a school. From a Collective Worship point of view, the children are highly praised at various events in the town.
Carol Singing at Abbeyfield
Remembrance Day in the Community
The Big Sing in Torrington Pannier Market
The Christingle at St Michael's Church
What does prayer mean at Bluecoat?
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus"
Thessalonians 5:16 - 18
Here at Bluecoat, the children are taught the value of prayer and quiet reflection through both their lessons in Religion and World Views, and through Collective Worship.
Each Collective Worship session finishes with an opportunity for the children to give thanks through prayer. Prayer is led by class teachers, assembly leaders or by the children themselves. All children are encouraged to join in with 'Amen' at the end of the prayer, or to show respect to others by reflecting quietly during prayer time.
As well as praying together in Collective Worship, the children pray twice a day - once before lunch, and once before they go home for the day. This not only gives children the opportunity to give praise and thanks to God but also brings a feeling of calm to the classroom.
Our school lunchtime prayer and end of the day prayer are available below, along with examples of alternative prayers that the children themselves have written.
The 2020 - 2021 class of RH share The Lord's Prayer.
Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development
As a Church of England school with Voluntary Controlled status, Religion and World Views (formerly RE) follows the Devon Agreed Syllabus and is non-denominational. To view our collective worship policy, please see below.
We have daily acts of worship, which are Christian-based and led by staff, governors, clergy and other visitors from local churches. On special occasions we worship at St Michael’s And All Angels, our local parish church.
Although parents have the right to withdraw their child from Collective Worship and Religion & World Views, it is hoped that our positive approach to these aspects of our school life will put you at ease about your child’s involvement. If necessary, please discuss this with either your child’s class teacher or the Headteacher. If you do decide to withdraw your child from these activities please confirm your decision in writing. We would be happy to discuss any aspects of Religion & World Views, or any other subjects with you.