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Worship and Christian Distinctiveness

Christian Distinctiveness

As an inclusive Christian school, St Michael’s Church of England (Aided) Primary School values everyone as a child of God and rejoices in its diversity.  Our vision is to provide a happy, loving and nurturing environment where all have the confidence to make outstanding progress and so expand and fulfil their hopes and aspirations.  Our inspiring, enriched curriculum promotes a thirst for knowledge and develops wisdom.


The Lord says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you …. plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29 verse 11


We believe the 4 key values which characterise our school are: faith, hope, joy and love.

SIAMS Report April 2023 - 'St Michael’s is transforming lives of pupils and adults. All in the school community are loved unconditionally and given the opportunity to flourish, realising their hopes and aspirations.'

Strand 1- Vision and Leadership

'To do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.' Micah 6 verse 8

Connecting Classrooms - Zambia

Strand 2 - Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills

'Happy are those who find wisdom and those who get understanding.' Proverbs 3 verse 13

What is Spirituality?

The promotion of spiritual development is a requirement of all schools in England as part of their offering of a ‘balanced and broadly based’ curriculum.  In line with our school vision, the opportunity to spiritually flourish is offered to all pupils and adults. When Jesus was young, he met with the teachers in the temple and at this point, Luke records that ‘Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’ Luke 2 verse 52. We aspire that all children throughout their time at St Michael’s will flourish spiritually: growing in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and people.


It is very difficult to put into words what ‘spirituality’ actually is because it is a very personal experience. It differs from person to person, and often spirituality changes within people during their lifetime. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith.


As a school, we have defined spirituality as:

“Spirituality is not something we can see; it is something we feel inside ourselves. It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, inspiration and being aware of something ‘bigger’ outside of ourselves.”


As a school we have developed our own Spiritual Flourishing Document which seeks to bring out the beauty in everyone by developing the spiritual capacities (integrity, empathy, self-knowledge and self-realisation, self-awareness, awe and wonder, contemplation, grace, entrepreneurship, enquiry and intrigue, thankfulness and generosity and an awareness of God) in pupils and adults alike through a range of sacred pathways. We believe that the spiritual capacities are developed and facilitated through the scared pathways as they provide a range of experiences, ways to reflect and ways to respond. When we give adults and pupils experiences and opportunities to flourish spiritually, through the sacred pathways, it is like developing a photographic image: the more it develops the more we see the beauty within.

Strand 3 - Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy

'So, faith without deeds is dead.' James 2 verse 26

Strand 4 - Community and Living Well

'Live in harmony with one another.' Romans 12 verse 16

Strand 5 - Dignity and Respect

'In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.' Matthew 7 verse 12

Strand 6 - The impact of Collective Worship

'Worship the Lord with gladness, come into his presence with singing.' Psalm 100 verse 2

Collective Worship

Collective worship plays a central part in the life of St. Michael’s CE (A) Primary School. Collective worship is a means by which the school’s Christian vision is expressed (Strand 6 SIAMS 2018). As an expression of the Christian vision, ethos and spiritual life of the school, it offers the whole school community opportunities to experience/participate in/take responsibility for the living expression of Christian worship, valued and honoured through the school’s Anglican Foundation.  This is set within the context of the corporate community of our school and its historic partnership with St. Michael and All Angels’ Church.  We affirm every individual’s unique contribution, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ability, background or religion and this is underpinned by the Church of England’s Vision for Education – Deeply Christian Serving the Common Good’, a vision of human flourishing for all, one that embraces excellence and academic rigour, but sets them in a wider framework.


Collective Worship takes place every day and together enables us to celebrate, praise and worship.  Below are a selection of photographs to show the breadth of worship opportunities experienced at St Michael's.

Over the last few years, we have taken part in Prayer Spaces.  When we have been able, this has happened in school, led by our Chaplaincy Team and the Spiritual Council.  During Covid, we took Prayer Spaces outside and enjoyed being close to God outside.  Prayer Spaces is a very special time in school. 


This year, during the last week of the Spring Term we explored prayer in a new and innovative way.  The focus of the Prayer Space was on Peter and the different emotions he must have felt during that first Easter Week.


This is what we thought about Prayer Spaces:

"I think it was relaxing because it reminds you about your family.  I liked it because you could write down the person you are sorry to on a jenga block."

"In prayer spaces I thought the activities were a fun way of thinking about God and Peter.  The sorry sand was very satisfying especially when you rubbed away something."

"I really liked picking where my carbon footprint would be.  Malta - This country is constantly being filled with built up buildings and washed away plastic.  Also, pollution there is terrible."

"I liked un-tying the knots and un-tying worries."

"It was calming because I could just think about God."

For Random Acts of Kindness Day, the School Council and Spiritual Council worked together to come up with a day of ideas.  The Spiritual Council started the day leading worship.  They had super ideas and shared the parable of the Paralysed Man with everyone in worship.  They started worship with a video entitled Colour Your World with Kindness and ended worship with the moving video called Joy and Heron.  They developed their own powerpoint and encouraged everyone to make kindness the norm!  They offered some suggestions for what children could do.  These included:

  • Offer to read a younger child a book
  • Hold the door open for a member of staff
  • Smile at someone in the hallway
  • Clean up any mess you make
  • Post a positive message for anyone to read
  • Share
  • Tell the cook the food was nice

The School Council left ideas for parents to use as part of the day.  They tied ideas to the school fence and invited parents to take one.  They also offered everyone a free piece of fruit at the end of the day.

In addition, parents and children were invited to bring in toys, gifts and food for those in our community who are less fortunate than ourselves.  And they gave the opportunity for people to make a donation to the Turkey and Syria DEC emergency appeal.  A lovely day where there were many opportunities to share ‘random acts of kindness.’

For Harvest, the Spiritual Council organised and led our worship which was streamed on our facebook page.  All the children in school were involved in the service and together we raised £320 to buy a Fantastic Farmyard in Rwanda and 4 chickens in Vietnam. Year 4 helped us to think about our gifts and talents and led us in prayers to ask God to help us to use them wisely.

The theme 'Celebrating our gifts and talents' was based on the reading from 1 Corinthians 12 verses 27-31.  

Strand 7 - The Effectiveness of Religious Education

'Train a child in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.'  Proverbs 22 verse 6

RE Quality Mark (REQM)

We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the silver award for RE.  The REQM acknowledges and celebrates outstanding RE.


RE makes a powerful contribution to a young people’s learning. It provides them with the chance to explore the big ideas of religion and belief and to think about what matters in their own lives.  Good RE teaching and learning at St Michael's supports the development of the whole child and has a significant contribution to make to whole school improvement. With the renewed focus from Ofsted on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development for all pupils, it is more important than ever that RE is recognised and celebrated.


Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration

We celebrated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in song, dance, prayer and a street party lunch.  We were joined in worship by Mr Wilson, who used to be in the RAF.  He told us about his training and experiences, including marching before the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee Parade.

SCHOOL PRAYER                                                                       A PRAYER FOR PARENTS

God of love,                                                                       Heavenly Father,

Open our hearts and minds,                                          Give to parents, love and understanding,

to you and each other,                                                    in the responsibilities of family life.

so that this school community may be                       May the love and care of our homes,

a place of loving and learning.                                      show your love and care for all your children.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                     Through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Amen.                                                                                 Amen.