Church & Worship
Please scroll down for:
- Our Christian Ethos
- A Christian School
- Collective Worship
- Worship Diary
- Reflection Rangers
- Prayer Groups
Our Christian Ethos
We work closely with our local and associated church, St Thomas a Becket as well as with our local community. We value the contribution that everyone makes to school
life, placing importance on the welfare of individuals. It is our aim that at the end of our pupils’ time at Northaw Church of England School they will have developed a sense of achievement and self-esteem as a result of their experiences here
and will leave us for their secondary school, happy, effective learners, with a positive attitude to life long learning.
We have an Ethos group who are representatives of the Governing Body and school staff. For more information please click here.
For our RE policy please click here.
A Christian school
The school’s aims form its objectives both in relationships and through the curriculum. Whilst we have a Christian foundation, our school is not merely a school for Christians and we welcome children from other religious denominations, faiths and world views.
We are proud of our strong links to St Thomas a Becket Church and with our Vicar Reverend Christopher Kilgour, who spends much time working with the Head Teacher, the teachers and the children of our school and who is a member of our Governing Body. In the context of this, all children will receive teaching in Religious Education which, whilst having a multi-cultural element, which will be based on the beliefs of the Church of England.
Theology and philosophy are explored through a range of faiths and worldviews. We build on our understanding and interpretations as we grow and learn throughout the school and the children learn through an enquiry based approach using 'ultimate questions' and philosophical debate as a foundation.
Worship in our school is inspirational and uplifting with carefully planned themes based firmly on the Bible and Christian values. Revd. Kilgour, the Head Teacher and all staff are keen to ensure pupils have a meaningful experience where God, Jesus and the Trinitarian nature of Christianity is at the heart of worship. Prayer and reflection are central to the experience of our collective worships and in addition pupils are offered a deeper and more personal experience in class through teaching, discussion and further reflection. Consequently, our pupils talk articulately, confidently and enthusiastically about their beliefs and ideas about faith.
For our Collective Worship policy please click here.
16th March 2020
In worship last week we discussed the aspect of ‘hopes and dreams’, principally with a focus on Jacob and his dream. Children were asked to think about the future, tomorrow, next week or the dreams that they were currently reflecting upon. They were reminded to use the pebbles when asking for God’s special guidance.
On Friday, Miss Barker updated the children on news from Uganda and the dreams of our Ugandan community and Mrs Burton introduced another of Paddington’s Postcards.
9th March 2020
In worship last week, the children heard about Jacob’s dream. As he was dreaming, he had a vision of a ladder between heaven and earth. God’s angels were on it, ascending and descending. Jacob saw God standing above the ladder. God repeated the promise of support that he had made to Abraham and Isaac. He told Jacob his offspring would be many, blessing all the families of the earth. God then said, “Behold, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15, NIV)
2nd March 2020
In school we are following the Diocese of St Albans Lent 2020 programme, God in this Place. Over the next six weeks, we will think about us and our Vision, ‘Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in faith’. We will think about how we can flourish and help others to flourish in our ‘Giving back for Lent’ programme and we will be praying for our families.
We will also be looking at the character of Jacob from the Bible and exploring a number of themes together. Last week we focused on Jacob’s conflict with his brother, Esau.
Lord, we thank you that you are in this place.
In our relationships…
In our learning…
In our banter…
In our happy times…
In our lowest times…
As we support each other…
Both in school … and out…
In who we aspire to be…
In what we aspire to do…
In what we aspire to change…
In our shared life together…
Helping each other to flourish…
We pray that over the next six weeks you can help us to learn more about ourselves and you as we explore the story of Jacob’s dream together. We pray for other schools in our diocesan family also, that they may grow in understanding alongside us.
24th February 2020
The arrival of Lent is characterised by pancakes! Shrove Tuesday, a day highly anticipated by all pancake lovers, is traditionally a day of preparation before the season of Lent begins. In some countries Shrove Tuesday is celebrated with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) parades. These are usually ‘carnival’ parades. ‘Carne vale’ means farewell to meat in Italian. The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days that Jesus spent in the Wilderness at the start of his ministry. Jesus fasted during his time in the wilderness, and so Christians identify with his suffering by abstaining from particular foods during this time, including meat, fish, milk and egg products. Here at Northaw, we encourage our children to ‘give back for Lent’.
Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of ‘shriving’. This 1,000 year old practice involves a person confessing their mistakes, and receiving absolution for them before Lent begins.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a day of penitence or cleansing of the soul. Many Christians will attend Lent services, and be marked with a cross of ashes on their forehead. This is a sign of mortality, based upon the idea from the book of Genesis that humankind came into the world from dust and will return to it. It is a time to express sorrow over sin, and a reminder that Jesus brings freedom from sin. The following 40 days are an opportunity to remember Jesus’ death.
10th February 2020
Last week, the children and I talked about the Christian festival of Candlemas and the role of Simeon and Anna, when Jesus, as a tiny baby was presented to them in the temple. We looked at the beautiful picture The Presentation painted by John August Swanson, which depicts Jesus surrounded by light. The scene being set at night emphasises the light of the moon and the angels, recalling the words that Jesus would be ‘a light that would reveal God’s will to the world.’
3rd February 2020
Last week in worship we looked at the work of Jesus’ disciples, particularly Nathaniel (Bartholomew) who was clearly dumbfounded that Jesus had miraculously seen him several miles away sitting underneath the fig tree.
Being a member of the community of learners who would accompany Jesus for the next three years, would have a profound effect on this humble fisherman and on the countless others who, through him, would learn about God’s love for the world.
Let us think about our school Vision, ‘Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith’ and how here at Northaw, we embrace our own community of learners by Loving for Today.
27th January 2020
Last week, Mr Napoleon and the Reflection Rangers recounted the temptation of Jesus as described in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
According to the scripture, after being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the Judean desert. During this time Satan, the Tempter, appeared to Jesus and tried to tempt him towards sin. Jesus refused each temptation, the Devil then departed and Jesus returned to Galilee to begin his ministry.
In school we talked about Resilience, one of our 6Rs and how resilient Jesus was during those 40 days. In LOVING FOR TODAY AND LEARNING FOR TOMORROW, we put our FAITH in Jesus.
20th January 2020
Last week I wrote about the Christian value of resilience and its connection with the story of Noah. This week our school Vision ‘Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith’ encompasses the value of respect. The picture here depicts the baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist. Last week in worship, we heard about the about how he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and alighting on him.
In school, the children use ‘respect’ as one of the 6Rs. They showed respect to our visitor last week, Fr. Demetrianos from the Greek Orthodox Church, who talked to the children about baptism in his church.
13th January 2020
In worship last week, the children and I discussed the Christian value of courage through two Bible stories: Zacchaeus the tax collector who had the courage to admit that he was wrong and gave his money back to those who needed it and Pauls’ shipwreck on the island of Malta. In both cases we talked about how they had been courageous and how we could show courage with our friends in school. This linked with two of our 6Rs: responsibility and respect.
16th December 2019
In church this morning Revd Chris explained the different roles played by Jesus such as a king, a knight (to protect us), a shepherd (to care for us) etc. This was a fitting conclusion after we have heard about Jesus’ life as explained in the Bible over the last few weeks. It important that when we celebrate during the holidays we do so to honour of the birth of Jesus Christ.
During worship last week, the children have been singing lots of carols – songs that remind us of the angels’ cacophony at the news of Jesus’ birth - ‘Glory to God’!
9th December 2019
In Church, Rev Kilgour reminded us that the Bible is not only a book but also a letter addressed to each and every one of us. Through these letters we can learn what God looks for in each of us including compassion, generosity, hope and truthfulness.
In school, worship continued with the Advent celebrations, a further explanation of the Advent candle and reflections on our Christian value of Compassion.
2nd December 2019
In worship last week the Reflection Rangers treated us to the retelling of That’s What Friends Are For by Florence Parry Heide. The children linked the story with our Christian value of compassion. Some children were so inspired by the recount that they have decided to set up a Buddy Club, which they will put in place after Christmas.
The children also looked at a variety of pictures based on the Annunciation. They were asked to compare the pictures and to look for similarities and differences. They identified symbols that appeared in some pictures such as the lily and the dove. I wonder if they can still remember what these symbols represent!
25th November 2019
Our Christian Values are at the centre of everything we do here at school. They help us to live out our Christian Vision of ‘life in all its fullness’. Each half term, we focus on a different Christian Value. This is done explicitly through our Collective Worship time, but also throughout our curriculum and our 6Rs. Children have regular opportunities to reflect on each value and to develop an understanding of the Value in action. Each Friday, in our Celebration Worship, we acknowledge children who have demonstrated these values and our 6Rs.
‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.
We encourage the children to show concern towards people who suffer – whether that means comforting someone who is upset in the playground or giving donations to the Foodbank, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance or other charities to help people in need.
18th November 2019
Worship last week focused on the coming of Jesus as foretold in the book of Isaiah. God spoke to a prophet called Isaiah 800 years before Jesus was born and told him about what the new king, the Saviour of the World, would be like. To let people know how amazing Jesus would be, God chose special names or titles to describe him:
WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR MIGHTY GOD EVERLASTING FATHER PRINCE OF PEACE
The children also reflected on the Christian value of compassion and identified the meaning of charity. We discussed the work of various charities and highlighted our chosen charity for the year: Herts and Essex Air Ambulance, who will be coming in to worship with us on Wednesday this week.
11th November 2019
Last week in Worship, we introduced the theme of Responsibility. This was linked to Remembrance Day by our guest speaker Poala Munn. Poala works for the Royal British Legion and she came to talk about Remembrance Day and why we have poppies. She briefly described the WW1 trenches and the dreadful conditions the soldiers were living in. Once the war was over, the land was devastated. Poala described how from the devastation, new life was created by the growth of the poppies. The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae was read and the children reflected on all people’s lives that have been affected by wars.
On this special day, as a school we spent two minutes in silence at 11 o’clock remembering all the soldiers and people affected by the tragedy of war.
4th November 2019
Just before half term we were lucky enough to have a Hindu visitor in school. She came in to share some of the traditions surrounding Diwali and was able to talk to all of the children during our assembly. The children were even able to have a go at a traditional Hindu song!
After break, the children in Apples & Pears worked in groups to create special patterns called Rangolis. These types of patterns are often created on the ground outside the front door of Hindu homes during Diwali to welcome the goddess Lakshmi.
Our visitor then talked to Willow class about the many different forms of God in which Hindus believe. Each form holds a weapon to vanquish evil and a boon to bring blessings. The children were given the opportunity to work in small groups and develop their own image of God, thinking about the different facets of God’s character and how these might be symbolised.
21st October 2019
In worship this week, we talked about our school vision: Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith. We discussed the underpinning 6Rs that help us to live together well. In school we endeavour to mimic the Church of England’s vision for schools, here is a summary:
‘In line with the Church of England's role as the established Church, our vision is for the common good of the whole community. Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills: enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life. Educating for hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.
Educating for community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
Educating for dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.’
14th October 2019
In worship, the children continued to learn about Jesus’ miracles. These were a sign of God’s generosity. We talked about how Jesus often got involved in people’s situations and changed things in a way that wasn’t humanly possible. We also talked about where the stories appeared in the Bible. The gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John describe how Jesus healed the sick, raised people from the dead, changed water into wine, fed a great crowd with very little food, calmed a storm and even walked on water. The stories of how Jesus came to be born and how he was raised from the dead are miraculous themselves. Later, the disciples themselves performed many miracles, believing that Jesus had given them the power to do the same things he had done through the Holy Spirit.
Forever in Faith
Jesus’ miracles are seen by Christians as signposts that point to who Jesus was and the power and divine authority he had. Christians also believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit miracles still happen today: that God still intervenes in people’s lives and changes situations that seem impossible and without hope. Many Christians share stories of miracles they have seen in their own lives and the lives of others. Have you seen a miracle?
7th October 2019
In worship this week we looked at this picture showing Jesus in a boat with his friends: Peace Be Still by He Qi. The Bible text that accompanied it was from Mark Chapter 4 verses 35-41 in which Jesus calms the storm. There are striking parallels between the physical events of the story and the spiritual experiences of people today. In ‘the storms of life’ it can often seem as if God doesn’t care and is, as it were, ‘asleep’. Yet the experience of many who cry out to God in prayer is that Jesus can and does bring inward peace and stills the soul.
Appropriately our Reflection Rangers told the story of the generosity of The Rainbow Fish. Thank you for your generosity to those less fortunate through your harvest contributions, Age UK, Macmillan and our own BRUNFAST.
30th September 2019
Here is a child’s reflection on Learning for tomorrow:
*learning from your mistakes;
*learning for adulthood;
* learning new things;
*learning new life skills (crucial crew); *learning to be healthy = have a good mind- set and eating good food;
*learning to be friendly;
*learning as you go;
*use skills for the future;
*learning more advanced things (technology);
*learning about safety;
*high standard learning;
*learning how to be a better, kinder person in the future;
*how to deal with tough situations;
*taking what you learn today to make tomorrow even better;
*applying life skills you learn in school for later in life;
*it’s like learning a song to sing tomorrow.
23rd September 2019
This term our focus for worship has been the Christian value of generosity. It’s a little ironic that my letter this week contains many requests for your generosity in terms of giving money. The children have been thinking about how to be generous in many ways, in terms of time, of friendship and sometimes of patience!
In school worship we have been linking our Christian value of generosity to the good deeds of Jesus in the New Testament.
Last week we talked about the kindness of a princess who brought up baby Moses as her own.
16th September 2019
During worship last week, the children were introduced to two of Jesus’ miracles the first of which demonstrated how Jesus cared about the dignity of ordinary people. And the second talked about how Jesus healed out of compassion. We talked about how humility, compassion, wisdom and faith are still factors in many miracles today.
Living for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith.
Here is a child’s reflection on Loving for Today and what this means to them.
9th September 2019
This half term’s value is ‘generosity’ and the Worship Plan links with this and the liturgy. Following last year’s successful planning and delivery of worship by our Reflection Rangers, we will be increasing their responsibilities to include keeping a reflection journal.
Miss Barker has registered our school with the British Council. Our global links with a school in Uganda reinfo
In Northaw C of E primary school, our Reflection Rangers work hard to teach us important lessons from the Holy Bible. On the 23rd January, the Reflection Rangers did a story called the Tempter. The whole school really enjoyed it because the acting they did was brilliantly presented. I would give the quality of the Reflection Rangers in our school a definite five stars!
Each week the Reflection Rangers meet up to discuss about how to deliver worship. We do it to teach the younger children about Jesus and what the Bible says about him. Our assemblies are all about our Christian value and sometimes the 6Rs. This term we did the Rainbow Fish. The story represents generosity. We also choose a song to sing for assembly for example: Thank your lucky stars, Harvest samba and Shine Jesus Shine. We choose prayers from the prayer tree that children have written themselves. Sometimes, we need volunteers. We always pick different people so it is fair. We do quizzes. Once we told a story to see who was listening and for fun. We also help church services like Harvest Festival, Christmas and spring.
By Miley. H, Martha. P and Grace. T
Reflection Rangers this term taught us how we should look after our world. They connected this to the Bible text in Matthew chapter 6 about Jesus using the natural world to illustrate his stories. Everyone sang, Don't Build your house on the Sandy Land and the Rangers connected the worship to the value of 'responsibility' which is one of our 6Rs.
It was good worship because the lady from Save the Children Fund talked about how children in other countries do not have the resources that we have and that we should be thankful.
Parents Prayer is a small group of Christian parents and carers who support the school by praying together. We believe that God cares for all children, and loves us to bring our cares for our children and everyone at our school to him in prayer. There are post-boxes in the school hall and the front lobby, to enable children, parents and anyone else connected with the school to ask us to support them by praying in specific ways.
Twice a term, all parents, carers and small siblings are welcomed to a local parent's house for drinks, snacks, chat and some time praying. We would love to see you there! Please contact the school for dates and other details.
Prayer Groups in school
Click here to learn about our prayer corners and reflection areas
Click here to learn about how we introduced Prayer Bear in order to encourage our children to involve their families as part of our school community.