We recognise the value of a regular gathering of a year group for purposes of cohesion and community identity.
Assemblies operate with a mixture of themes and items organised by members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team and/or individual Student Managers, which raise items of moral and spiritual concern, the majority being capable of interpretation from a Christian standpoint by the individuals involved.
Parents are informed of this policy on the website. They are able to exercise their right to withdraw their children from that part of an assembly or tutor period which is an act of worship, though in practice this happens only very rarely.
Currently half year groups in Year 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 assemble for 15 minutes, in the theatre once a fortnight at the beginning of the day (8.35am) on a regular day.
On the remaining four days each week students are based in tutor groups in morning tutor time. Tutors are asked to draw the attention of their groups to a matter of moral or spiritual thought which is put at the top of the Daily Bulletin each day. An exchange of views might follow this, perhaps tutor-led. Sometimes private reflections might be more appropriate.
The daily topic, entitled “Pause for Thought” is capable of being discussed from a religious viewpoint and specifically from a Christian viewpoint as appropriate to the private beliefs of individuals.
Points for consideration or discussion about each “thought” are often put forward so that tutors may use them in the style most appropriate for the particular year group and particular topic. To avoid a superficial approach to important spiritual and moral issues, each “thought” are generally placed on the Bulletin for two days in succession. Students and staff are invited to contribute items and often do so.
It is also possible for a tutor to devise his or her own item for discussion, in line with the school policy.
We believe this approach allows for both flexibility and individuality, while building on peer group relations and attempting to promote the tutor group as a forum for discussion of matters for serious moral and spiritual thought.
Parents are informed of this policy in the prospectus. They are able to exercise their right to withdraw their children from that part of an assembly or tutor period which is an act of worship, though in practice this happens only very rarely.