Collective worship this term

Autumn term 2014

This half term we’re thinking about being ‘friendly’ and how we can ensure we make everyone feel welcome.

This value links to our overriding value for this year which is Agape.

What is Agape?( αγάπη pronounced ah-gah-pay)

For Christians agape is the key Christian value—it lies at the root of all other values. It means respect, affection, benevolence, goodwill and concern for the welfare of the one
loved. It is selfless, and means putting others first before oneself. The word is Greek and is used throughout the New Testament for Christian love—it is different from, and more than,
friendship. The supreme explanation of the word agape is the unearned love God had for humanity — a love so great that God was willing to send his only son to suffer and die on
the cross.

This page was updated by Revd Ally together with pupils who help to monitor collective worship in school and in church, in this interim period it will be updated by the school.

Spring Term 2014

This half term we’re thinking about ‘aspiration’ – becoming the very best ‘us’ that we can be!

10th March: ‘God made us for a life of good deeds’ (Ephesians 2.10)
Revd Ally read us the verse from Ephesians, and also a bit about Jeremiah, who visited a potter to learn about how God shapes his people, and gives them second chances when things go wrong, just like a potter does when he or she is trying to make a pot out of a lump of clay.
Some of us got to try making something out of salt dough – it was fun!  Miss Povey made a thumb pot, someone else made a person, someone made a pair of angel wings, someone made a ball (to represent the earth, held in God’s hands), and someone made a doughnut because they’re nice to eat!
The dough could keep being molded and shaped, just as we can keep learning and growing and becoming more who God created us to be.
“It made me want to pray about helping each other and encouraging each other to be the best we can be.”

3rd March: The Parable of the Talents
Revd Ally read us the story of the parable of the talents, and then some of the year 6’s acted it out but in a modern version, with a music teacher and three of his pupils – one of them had worked really hard and was playing at the Royal Albert Hall. Another had worked hard and was recording her album in a studio. Another still really loved his music and was busking playing the drums.  But the fourth one had given up music because she thought she wasn’t as good as the others. The teacher was sad, because all his pupils had a gift, and he wanted them to share it with the world and to carry on enjoying it.
“It made me think about encouraging my friends about what they’re good at.”

24th February: Your unique vocation from God!
Revd Ally said she had a picture of someone really important, really unique. We all tried to guess who it was – and some people went to have a look at it – they all said yes, it was someone really really special. Then when Revd Ally turned it round so we could all see, it was a mirror!  We each saw ourselves, because each of us is really special, we all have something to offer to the world, without which the world would not be complete. Revd Ally read this poem to us:
There is an old Christian tradition
that God sends each one of us into the world
with a special message to deliver,
with a special song to sing for others
and a special act of love to give.
No-one else can speak my message, 
or sing my song,
or give my act of love,
because God entrusted them to me. 

During the first half of the spring term we were thinking about thinking!

10th February: Think before you speak and act!
Revd Ally brought in a huge tube of vaseline and we wondered what would happen if she took the lid off and then jumped on the tube! We thought about what fun it could have been to see how far the vaseline went, but then we thought about how it would make a massive mess, and how it would make the floor slippery (like when Revd Ally once spilled olive oil on her kitchen floor!)  We realised that sometimes what seems like a great fun idea at first might not really be so good – it’s worth stopping and thinking.
Then Revd Ally asked Tilly to write something on a piece of paper using the vaseline – Tilly thought really hard about what to write, because once you’ve squeezed it out of the tube, you can’t put it back in again.  It’s the same with our words and actions – once we’ve said and done them, we can’t take them back, and although we can try and clear up the mess, it may never be quite the same again…

3rd February: Thinking of others
Revd Ally held shapes up in front of the projector – depending on the angle, one could look like a circle or a square (it was a cylinder), another looked like a square or a triangle (it was a triangular prism).  We thought about how things can look so different depending on how you look at them, and that this can be the same with disagreements we may have with others.  We thought about how to learn to see things from other people’s points of view.

27th January: Thinking deeply
We found out that the human brain is amazing! In an experiment last summer, scientists in Japan found that in order to replicate just one second of human brain activity, they had to link 92,844 computers together – and it still took 40 minutes for that supercomputer to do it!
We thought about how human beings always want to discover new things, ask new questions, look at what’s over the horizon – some people think that God put that curiosity there, so that we would want to explore all the mysteries of the universe that he made.

20th January: Reflective thinking
We had a lovely quiet collective worship – we imagined situations in which we had lots of time to think, to look at the world around us, and to enjoy just breathing deeply. It made us feel chilled out all day.

13th January: Koinonia
We introduced our whole-year, whole-school value of Koinonia, a Greek word which means ‘communion’, ‘community’, and lots of other things besides. You can read all about it here: Buckden School koinonia.
To think about what Koinonia means, we used a ball of string and created a loop first around one particular table group, then around a whole class, then around everyone!
“My favourite bit was stringing the school”
“It made me want to pray for everyone.”

6th January: Epiphany
We played the Epiphany game – a life-size board game in which the wise men face various challenges on their journey to the baby Jesus – we used real people as counters, and the game was big enough to go all the way round the teachers and the year sixes!

Autumn Term 2013

Monday 30th September: God cares for his creation

Revd All read from Matthew’s gospel, where Jesus tells the crowds not to worry so much.  He told them to look at the birds of the air, we we closed our eyes and imagined the most beautiful, soft feature, with all its details. He told them to look at the flowers in the fields, so we closed our eyes and imagined the most beautiful flower, with all its colours and smell.  Jesus told them that they were much more precious than even the birds or the flowers, and that God already knows about everything they need.  We closed our eyes and remembered sanding down our wooden crosses, and imagined that we were sanding off all our worries.  We put a toy bird, a flower, and a cross into the Big Hands, and then we sang ‘Our God is a great big God’.

Monday 23rd September: Harvest Festival

We were in St Mary’s for our harvest collective worship.  Everyone was very generous bringing tins and packets of food for King’s Ripton Court hostel in Huntingdon.  The service involved every class presenting artwork, poetry, dance, drama, songs and more. Revd Ally talked about how we each have something to offer, and when we put it all together we end up with something really special.  We especially enjoyed singing ‘Autumn days’ and ‘Cauliflowers fluffy’.

Monday 16th September: the scale of the universe

We looked at the wonderful website – it shows everything relative to everything else, from the quantum particles from which everything is made to whole clusters of galaxies and beyond.
We learned that every single one of  us  is made from billions of tiny atoms that were formed in the heart of far off stars. We are in the universe, but the universe is also in us!  There is an awesome interview with an astrophysicist on the same website – hear it by clicking on the ‘most astounding fact’ tab.

We read Psalm 8, and wondered whether the size of the universe makes us feel big or makes us feel small.

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
    Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than angels
    and crowned them with glory and honour.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
   putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents.
O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Then we read some words from Julian of Norwich, which reminded us that whether we feel big or small, we are part of the universe that God made and loves.

Our Lord showed me a vision of his love.
I saw that for us he is everything
that is good and comforting and helpful.
He is our clothing, wrapping us in love.
Embracing us and guiding us in all things,
hanging about us in tender love
so that he can never leave us.
And so, in this vision,
I saw that he is everything that is good for us.
And in this vision he showed me a little thing,
the size of a hazel nut
lying in the palm of my hand
and to my mind’s eye it was a round as any ball.

I looked at it and thought, ‘what can this be?’
And the answer came to me, ‘it is all that is made.’
I wondered how it could last
for it was so small it might suddenly disappear.
And the answer in my mind was,
‘it lasts and will last for ever, because God loves it;
and in the same way everything exists
through the love of God.’ 

Monday 9th September: God made the world

This term we are starting by thinking about creation – we heard the story in Genesis 1 and listened to it as a poem, enjoying the amazing variety in the world, and thinking about our place in it.
We asked ourselves, “What kind of world did God make?”
and then, “What must God be like to make a world like that?”

Summer Term 2013

Monday 1st July

Sid was leading Collective Worship today – he is training to be a vicar.
He told us the story of the Parable of the Talents, from the Bible, which is about being generous with the things we are given.  Sid showed us how we can make the most of what we have – be managed to cut up a piece of A4 paper so that he could climb all the way through it!
“The story was amazing… the best bit was when Sid went through the piece of paper.”
“It made me think that I want to be generous too, and it made me want to pray about God because he’s nice.”

Monday 24th June

Revd Ally told the story of Mary and Martha – both of them wanted to spend time listening to Jesus, and that’s what Jesus wanted, too, but Martha kept getting distracted by all the other things she thought she ought to do.  Jesus helped them both get the time they needed to think and pray and be with him.
Then we spend some time quietly listening to some music (Be still for the presence of the Lord) so that we had time to listen to God.
“I liked the music, it was relaxing.”
“The story made me want to pray about all the things that I get distracted by.”

Monday 16th June

We heard the story of Zaccheus and how Jesus came to his house.  Zaccheus wasn’t used to sharing because nobody wanted to share his things – but Jesus showed him how to be generous.  When we invite people to our homes we share with them not just our stuff, but something about who we are: our personality, our friendship, our time, and our love.

“It made me think about how we don’t have the decide on a person by their looks and what job they do.”

“It made me thankful for all the things I have, and think about those who don’t have stuff they can share.”

Monday 10th June

We thought about lending things to each other: “You can use it but it’s still mine.”

And about giving things to each other: “This was mine and now it’s yours.”

Then about having things that we really share: “This was mine, but now it’s ours – it belongs to all of us together.”

And then finally, we thought about the idea that everything we have comes from God, and we all belong to God.  This is how the early church thought about their possessions.

“It made me think about who my friends are, and want to pray for them.”

“The best bit was when we talked about being generous about sharing our ideas.”

“It made me think about love, and I prayed for my family.”

Monday 3rd June

We started thinking about our theme of Generosity – how we share our time, our gifts, our food, our money, our love, our ideas.  We put pictures onto a big heart shape and thought about how being generous affects us as well has how it affects other people.

“It made me think of everyone in the whole world”

“I liked it when we talked about giving blood.”

“It made me pray for happiness, and love.”

Monday 20th May – Pentecost

We thought about things that are invisible but that we know are real, like gravity and air. We blew up a balloon and saw how the air makes the balloon more balloon-y and how the balloon shows that the air is real and powerful.  We thought about people being full of God makes us into who we’re supposed to be, and when we live like that, we help to show the world that God is real and powerful in us and in the world.

“My best bit was blowing up the balloon and letting the air out of it.”

“The best bit was using bubbles as prayers – we breathed in our worries for the world, and then blew them out into bubbles, and then when the bubbles popped we knew God was hearing our prayers.”

“It made me think about all the things that are invisible but still real and actually there.”

We sang “Share the light of Jesus”.

Monday 13th May – Christian Aid Week

For Christian Aid Week we looked at lots of different numbers, written on the bottom of food bowls, and each of them was about poverty.

“It was really shocking how many people in the world just don’t have enough to eat or don’t get to go to school, or have to drink dirty water.” 

“It made me want to pray about people who aren’t as lucky as me.”

Tuesday 7th May
Collective Worship in church, with the Collective Worship team.

We prepared collective worship on the theme of Thankfulness, which is our Value this half term.  We thought about all the gifts that God gives us, and how to share them. Revd Ally did the trick with cutting off the corners of a piece of paper and handing them out. We started with four corners of God’s love, and then when we cut the corner off we ended up with 8 corners!

“It made me feel thankful for all the things I have and want to share them”

Monday 29th April 

We heard the story of Moses and the people of God in the wilderness, and remembered God helping them by giving them manna and water, and how this helped them to trust him more.

“The best bit was the raisin game – we let a raisin melt in our mouths and while it melts we think and pray about all the things we’re thankful for.”

Monday 22nd April

We read Philippians 4.4-9 and said thank you for all the people who set us a good example.   Revd Ally said that even at a funeral when everyone is sad, one of the things we always do is say thank you for the person’s life and how they helped us learn and shared their love with us.

“I enjoyed finding out what all the words mean, and it made me think about how to behave.”

Tuesday 16th April

Our theme this term is thankfulness – one of our Values.
We had big paper tellers to spell out THANKYOU and we thought of something for each letter that we wanted to say thank you for, and then put that letter somewhere to remind us of it – eg the K went to the kitchen.  The U went to different places around school because it was a thank you for ‘us’ – for who we are as a school community.

Spring Term 2013

This term we are exploring ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Compassion’ from our Values tree.

Monday 11th March

Some of the year 6 boys helped Revd Ally act out the Bible story of a man who was paralysed. He had four really good friends who helped him get around.  They even took him to Jesus so that he could be healed, and walk again – and when there were so many people crowding round the house where Jesus was, they carried him up to the roof and dug a hole in the roof to let their friend down into the house! Jesus was amazed at the friends’ faith, and he showed them how to become friends with God, too, and he healed the paralysed man.
Revd Ally said that a lot of the miracles of Jesus used what ordinary people had done, and just made them that bit better: the man’s friends had already made sure that his disability didn’t get in the way, Jesus just added the finishing touch of enabling him to walk again.
It made us think about what makes a good friend, and what things really help us live our lives, and especially about the people we know who are disabled and what we can do for each other to make everyone’s life better.  It made us want to pray about disability too.

Monday 4th March
Today we heard a verse from a book of rules in the Bible called Leviticus. It was the rule that the people of God weren’t allowed to harvest all the way up to the edge of their fields, but they had to leave some of their harvest spare for people who didn’t have any land of their own.  This reminded the people that they didn’t used to have their own land either.
We used some of the actions from Love Life Live Lent to think about what spare things we might be able to be generous with: our time, our money, the things we have, and our thoughts and care for people.  We spent a bit of time quietly thinking which of the actions we wanted to do.
In our prayers we said thank you for all the things that we have enough of, and we remembered that when we do good things on the outside they can make us better on the inside.

On Tuesday 26th February it was RE day, and we ended the day with Collective Worship.  Mostly the Collective Worship team led the service, but some of us had written prayers during the day and we got to read them out.  It was all based on the Lord’s Prayer. We sang a version of it, and we also learned to sign it.  You can read all about what we did on our RE day page.

Monday 25th February
Rev Ron was doing collective worship today. He told us three stories  and they were all about how people that nobody expected to be good became good. One of the stories was from the Bible and was called the Good Samaritan. We sang ‘Brother sister let me serve you’.

Monday 18th February
Now it is Lent we are thinking about how our actions affect other people and how what we do changes who we are. Every class has a copy of Love Life Live Lent, and we thought about some of the actions to imagine what they might look like in real life.
Some of the collective worship team led our worship on Monday, and we are going to use LLLL again at the RE day on 26th February as we think about “thy will be done on earth as it is on heaven”, and how we can make God’s world more like how he wants it to be.

Monday 4th February: The Book of Proverbs (Wisdom in the Bible)

The Collective worship team prepared and led our act of worship. We heard twelve proverbs from the Bible and thought about what wisdom they give us. Revd Ally wrote these bits of wisdom on giant jigsaw pieces and we put the puzzle together to remind us that wisdom in the Bible isn’t about making individual people wise, but is about making a whole community wise.

Monday 14th January: The Wise and Foolish Builders

We built two towers from building bricks – one really was on the rocks (actually, on a piece of flat stone from St Mary’s Church) and the other was on a big pile of sand.  Unsurprisingly when we poured water on them both, the tower on the sand fell over and went everywhere!  We thought about what are the foundations  on which we build our life – our relationships, our faith…

Tuesday 8th January: The Three Wise Men

Actually there were nine wise men by the time we’d finished! We re-told the Epiphany story, and noticed nine different ways that the Wise Men (aka the Three Kings) were wise – we wrote them on a crown, and wondered what those nine kinds of wisdom would look like in school, at home…

Autumn Term 2012

You can read here about what we’ve been doing in collective worship this term.

The end of term Christmas carol service will be in St Mary’s on Wednesday 19th December at 6pm, led by years 4,5, and 6.  The final service of term will be the whole-school Christmas service on Thursday 20th December at 10am, again in St Mary’s, and will be led by the collective worship team.

Monday 10th December: We are ourselves

Revd Ally brought four very different teddies in – they all had different characteristics and personalities, but they had one thing in common: they are loved!  We are also all different, but we all have people who love us and care for us. We enjoyed hearing some words from Isaiah 43, in which God promises that he has called us by his own name, and that we belong to him, no matter what goes wrong in our lives, he will care for us and love us for ever.

Oh no! Reverend Ally was away having her tonsils out so we don’t have a write-up for 26th November, and 3rd December…..

Monday 19th November: We are community

We were in St Mary’s for a wonderful service led by the collective worship team.  We looked at the idea of the covenant in the Old Testament – the special relationship between God, his people, and the earth itself.  We compared it to an electrical circuit, in which all the relationships have to be working properly in order for the love to flow, just like electrons flow through the wires in a properly connected circuit.  Then we talked about Jesus’ two great commandments: Love God, and love your neighbour as you love yourself. We reflected that in order to love our neighbours, we had to learn to love ourselves – because we are all made in God’s image, and God wants us to love everything he has made, just as he does.  We made a giant paper chain (which is still in church!) – everyone wrote something that they wanted to pray about for the world (peace, love, friendship etc) on their link in the chain.  We each had another strip of paper, too, and on these we wrote something that we love about ourselves, and then wore them as a wrist band.

Monday 12th November: Remembrance Service
Well done to all those who took part in the prayers and in the dedication, and coming in your organisation uniforms, and a big thank you to Wing Commander Sophie Heald from the RAF for coming to be with us. We used the ‘big hands’, placing in them symbols of Remembrance:
– a poppy (to remember those who have died in conflict)
– military medals (to say thank you for the courage of those in the armed forces)
– a bandage (to help us pray for all those hurt by war)
– a coin with a picture of the Queen on it (to help us pray for people in authority)
– a globe (to remember that the world is broken, but God loves it).
We sang beautifully, too: the forces version of ‘Eternal Father, strong to save,’ ‘Turn your thoughts’ and ‘No wars will stop us singing.  Before and after our service we listened to Karl Jenkins’ Armed Man Mass for Peace.

Monday 5th November: Friendship / All Souls
We read ‘Badger’s Parting Gifts‘, which tells the story of how Badger’s friends grieved for him when he died, and how they came to recognise and celebrate all that he had taught them during his long life – gradually their happiest memories stopped bringing tears, and brought smiles again.
We linked this to the Bible passage Philippians 4.4-9, which speaks of bringing our needs and our thanksgivings to God, of the sorts of values by which we should seek to live, and of the way in which those with whom we have shared our journey of life leave a legacy with us in terms of their example, helping us to become who we are. We lit a candle and spent some time quietly thinking about all the people who have taught us how to live – especially, but not only, those who are no longer with us.

Autumn Term (first half): ‘God speaks’

We began by looking at the story of creation, in which God ‘speaks the universe into being’ – we imagined ourselves back to the moment of the big bang, when silence turned into a dynamic, exciting explosion of potential for life.  To help us reflect we listened to the very opening chorus of Haydn’s Creation, and enjoyed how this composer – long before scientists had explained the origins of the universe – had imagined the moment when the universe came into being. We enjoyed how the writer of Genesis chapter 1 had grasped (around 2500 years ago!) the importance of an initial burst of energy in order that the universe might come into being.
The theme during the whole first half of the term was ‘God speaks’. We used the stories of Abraham, Isaiah, Samuel and Elijah, among others, to explore how God calls people at different times and in different (and often unexpected) ways, and to a range of ministries and roles.

The final act of collective worship led by Revd Ally in this series featured the ‘blanket of blessing‘ (with reference to Isaiah 40 and the comfort and consolation of God’s people) – the blanket stayed in school all week and was a much appreciated by staff and pupils alike!

We also celebrated Harvest Festival at St Mary’s Church, with a service led by our Collective Worship Team, in which we used the story of the feeding of the five thousand, and each class got an empty basket to take back to their classroom and use to offer things to God (gifts, thoughts, prayers etc).

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