chapter  11
Collective worship
WithDerek Webster
Pages 13

Collective worship has been a feature of school life in Great Britain for centuries. Yet it was not until the 1944 Education Act that it became a legal requirement. This requirement has been reaffirmed by more recent legislation. School worship offers teachers an opportunity to raise important questions of meaning and value for their pupils. These questions arise from teachers’ specialist subject areas, e.g. science, geography, information technology as well as their own experiences. Such questions are significant for pupils in secondary schools because they offer a means of thinking about themselves, of forming their values, developing their attitudes and coming to terms with their own feelings. Indeed, at its best, collective worship contributes to the understanding of how to live in the global society of the new millennium. Seen in this light, it is an asset available to all teachers. Instead of being a tiresome daily ritual, an irritant to the senior management team or the RE department, it can be an exciting instrument to be used by schools as they work to achieve their educational ends.