These take place at two distinctive times of the week. One half hour per week is spent by each house in communicating areas of social concern such as fair trade or enterprise which are linked to the term’s theme. Tutor groups take turns to present this to their house. This is called Briefing.
Another one half an hour per week is spent in Collective Worship, a special time which enables students to grow in spiritual and religious awareness and knowledge. Important times in the Christian calendar like Advent, Lent and Easter are given particular focus. We also use themes such as Lighting the Darkness and Transformation which enables students to connect with some of the key Christian ideas and symbols. Collective Worship is a time of reflection for all students, whatever their beliefs. The Christian concept of God may be specifically referred to and many of our speakers use prayers and/or silence to enable students to contemplate the spiritual beliefs and values that are suggested to them.
There is a policy of including music performed by students on entry and dismissal. This fosters the reflective tone of the proceedings and students enter and leave in silence. We use members of staff and religious speakers and other kinds of outside speakers to help forge our relationship with the community around our school.
Thought for the Week
This is a quote or other saying that is available on school communications such as the digital signage around the school and the newsletter to help students and other members of the school community have an opportunity to reflect on a thought connected to the term’s theme. Every tutor spends a short time each week talking about this.
The RE department takes a lead in providing concepts, ideas and discussions around spirituality, religion and belief. There are also discrete areas in other subjects which are considered spiritual in their scope such as the study of space and time in physics and all the performing arts subjects, expressing and creating ideas around the human spirit.
Additionally, there are specific cross-curricular activities designed to foster understanding of the human response to life. These include Black Voices Day where music, drama, history and RE provide workshops for Y9 on slavery. There are also other cross-curricular projects such as the Ramayana and Buckfast Abbey. In Y7, a cross curricular community project incorporates churches in Bradford on Avon in their geographical and historical context.
Spiritual attributes that we aim to foster:
- The ability to rest, be still and have an authentic sense of who we are;
- The capacity to go deeper, to reflect, to connect with questions regarding life and death, purpose, beauty and creativity;
- A readiness to explore the numinous or feel a connection with a higher power which may be interpreted as the Divine.
These may be built upon through the following skills:
- A capacity to be flexible and adapt to change
- A high degree of self-awareness which leads to self-acceptance
- A capacity to face suffering and learn from it
- A capacity to deal with painful situations
- A quality of being inspired by vision and values
- A commitment to avoid causing harm
- A ability to see connections between things
- A tendency to ask why and what if questions
- A capacity for unconditional love
- An ability to see beyond the here and now
- A passion to create and share meaning
- A capacity for awe and wonder
These all feed into the school’s mission and values
The following are the main religious festivals:
Christmas – the birth of Jesus
Ramadan – fasting and charity
Diwali – festival of light – the story of Rama and Sita
Holi – Spring festival
Sukkot – Harvest Festival
Harvest – Christian Festival
Purim – the story of Esther
Easter – the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Connections with School Policies
Connections with Churches in Bradford on Avon
The Bridge (Christian Union)
The Community Church
Holy Trinity Church
United Reform Church
St Thomas More