Collective Worship at Holy Trinity Catholic School 2019-2020
Holy Trinity has a thriving programme of Collective Worship which fully complies with all expectations set out in Canon Law and reinforced by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. Holy Trinity provides at least two opportunities for worship each day in school. Pupils and staff reflect and pray at 8:55 and 12:10 each day. A beautiful musical piece from the hymn ‘Ave Maria’ sounds at this time which calls the whole community to come together and to connect with God. The majority of prayers at these times are led by pupils.
Pupils will have an extended daily focus for worship one day a week if they have assembly. A selection of assemblies are planned by pupils, with Collective Worship led by them. An assembly programme is put together in line with diocesan and liturgical expectations. Assembly themes will mirror the church’s liturgical calendar such as November remembering all Saints and all Souls and May honouring Mary and the Angelus.
In addition, all RE lessons will either begin with a prayer or a reflection. All formal exams start with a prayer. Celebration of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation are a regular part of school life. Each year group will celebrate Mass in honour of their Year Group Patron Saint. This Mass is usually on the feast day or as close to it as possible. Whole school Masses take place at times including Advent, near Trinity Sunday, the end of the year and on other holy days of obligation. Mass will take place during at least 4 Inset days a year. There are special voluntary masses in November for the deceased and during the month of the Rosary, there is an emphasis on having this special prayer a fabric of school life. Penitential services and opportunities for Confessions take place during Advent and Lent. Special liturgies take place on Ash Wednesday and before the school breaks for Easter.
The school is fully committed to pupils planning and leading worship. Pupils are keen to do so and provide a wonderful contribution to the prayer life of school. Strong evidence of this is seen in our new year 7 Faith Leader team, a wonderful and growing school choir and the eagerness with which pupils volunteer to read, alter serve and to bring up the special gifts in the offertory. Although percentages of Catholic pupils are small, all acts of worship are participated in reverently, respectfully and beautifully by the whole school community. Seeing this respect and participation is a sight to behold and a great living example of Christ’s unifying presence active in Holy Trinity.
As role models and guardians of the Catholic faith, staff prayer is an integral part of school life. Different staff lead briefing prayers on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Prayers will either be formulaic in line with themes of the week or extempore based upon a personal situation or devotion to God. Weekly staff prayer takes please every Friday and again this is led by different staff. Music forms a part of this worship in line with the Augustinian belief that singing means you pray twice. On special days such as inspection or in response to need based upon an issue in the community or on a wider scale, there will be extra staff morning prayers. All meetings in school begin with a prayer or reflection. Opportunities for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, The Rosary and Stations of the Cross are also provided for staff during the year. Each department has its own prayer in school and it provides staff with the inspiration to fulfill Christ’s mission in their work.
An active programme of retreats have been at the foundation of Holy Trinity for a large number of years. This was emphasized recently by a wonderful Year 7 retreat day in school which concluded with Mass attended by a large number of parents. This year in spring 2020, a number of KS3 pupils will be attending a residential retreat at The Briars, Derbyshire. Just after Easter, The Chaplaincy Team including Prefects and Year 7 Faith Leaders will be attending a Chaplaincy Day retreat at Soli House. It is intended that pupils will also join other children in our academy on a future diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. In addition, regular opportunities for staff to develop and grow in their faith and practice are provided. Each INSET day holds opportunities for Collective Worship. A Catholic Life focus happens at least on one designated day each year focusing purely on Catholic Life / Collective Worship. There is one staff meeting each half term dedicated to Catholic Life / Collective Worship with prayers being a significant part of this.
January 6th 2020 will see staff reflect upon the canonisation or St John Henry Newman following a talk by our Chaplain Father Peter Conley who will share his experiences of going to Rome for the canonisation and helping our Archbishop in preparing reflections and writings for the event.
Holy Trinity provides all pupils with opportunities to develop spiritually. The school celebrates shared understanding of faith and supports all pupils and staff in their journey to find God. Prayer facilities are provided for our large group of Muslim pupils and staff who pray daily and more devotedly each Friday. There is a special focus to support pupils in prayer during the blessed month of Ramadan. Holy Trinity is a remarkable example of community cohesion with Christians, Muslims, and people of other faiths and no faiths, working alongside each other to fully develop in shared a vision of love, peace, tolerance and respect.
Holy Trinity is excited by the prospect of being a driving force in the newly formed St Teresa of Calcutta Multi Faith Academy Company. Holy Trinity is fully committed to the embodiment of the academies mission of vocation, courage and compassion. Holy Trinity aims to support in making this academy a beacon Catholic organisation in this part of the city, developing Catholic Life collaboratively across the MAC. There are plans for children from each school to join future diocesan pilgrimages.
Holy Trinity’s highly effective Chaplaincy Team ensures that Collective Worship is at the heart of the school practice and improvement. The team is supported strategically by an active link governor who supports with regular quality assurance. Quality assurance of provision features consistently in school practice with all information and areas to develop communicated to governors. Governors have started to complete an audit of provision annually and have found this to be a valuable reflective exercise in ensuring improvement. Pupil, parent and staff voice take place throughout the year with tutor time and assembly provision evaluated formally three times a year. It is this practice that ensures that Catholic Life provision is ‘Outstanding.’
‘This is a Catholic School. There are people of all faiths and none and the school prepares us well for life in a diverse society. No matter who you are at this school, you thrive.’
(Year 11 Pupil, Ofsted, December 2017)