As a Church of England School, we believe that school life should enable everyone’s spiritual flourishing. Spiritual development is facilitated through the curriculum, extra-curricular activities, collective worship and the lived experience of school life and community. We serve a community of Christian faith, other world faiths and of no faith. As such, our collective worship is centred on the Eucharist and grounded in our Anglican tradition, and marks the major festivals of other traditions and religions and celebrates the spiritual and cultural diversity of our staff and students.
Our Christian vision and ethos is based on St Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 3.12-17 from the New Testament:
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Collective worship begins in St Marylebone Parish Church, our School Chapel, and then permeates the whole life of our school community. We have a Theme of the Week for each week in the school year, which is explored first with the Whole School Assembly on Monday morning, with hymns, Scripture and prayers, and a Sixth Form Assembly or Eucharist at Blandford Hall for Year 12 or 13. We have a Whole School Eucharist once a month, marking major festivals of the Church Year. Every day at morning registration senior staff and students broadcast a Thought for the Day, ending with prayer, over our school tannoy. We hold special services throughout the year, such as Founders’ Day, Student Leavers’ Services, our annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, and Choral Evensong. The Chapel also holds all major community events, including Prize-Giving and Year 9 Celebration Evening. Each year students are offered the opportunity to be Baptized and/or Confirmed by our School’s Bishop (a Provost of the Woodard Corporation of Church Schools, of which we are an Affiliate). Collective worship is led by our School Chaplain. As well as supporting pastoral care, the Chaplain’s leadership, presence and voice is vital in communicating our Church of England ethos to everyone.
Students’ leadership and contribution is evident in the students’ involvement in creating and delivering weekly assemblies and other worship, and the Chapel Team who plan and lead worship alongside the Chaplain. Our acts of worship reflect the dynamic, diverse and creative character of the School, including Performing Arts, cross-curricular contributions, making worship accessible, intellectually stimulating, spiritually expansive and theologically sound.
In our collective worship, we aim to:
- show reverence for God
- express and give direction to our experiences of awe, thankfulness, humility, dedication, hope and responsibility
- reflect the values of respect, admiration, devotion and gratitude
- give expression to our common values and purposes
- provide an inclusive educational experience for all students
- respect and celebrate the diversity of our school community
- avoid exclusivity or proselytisation
- affirm the worth of every individual within the School community and the wider world
- provide opportunities for those who have faith to express this and to worship meaningfully
- provide opportunities for those uncertain of/without faith to develop appreciation for and understanding of faith and acts of worship