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Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week is our daily collective worship and personal reflection time which provides students with the opportunity to ponder life’s big questions and explore personal philosophies.

Collective Worship Procedures

Education Links has students of varied religious denominations and those who identify with none. 

Thought for the week (TFTW) has been devised as a way to approach the legislation in which schools must provide  worship as detailed in the publication from the Department for Education (Guidance for Collective worship in schools 1994 20-21) 

The procedures and guidance for  TFTW are as follows 

1 Roles

2 Content

3 Evidence 

4 Links with other subjects

Responsibility

TFTW will be the responsibility of the curriculum lead for Wellbeing. The lead will ensure that there is a person nominated to construct and provide TFTW to Group Coordinators. This will be the teacher of PSHE and Citizenship across the school. 

Group Coordinators will deliver the lesson to the students with support from the teacher responsible.

The teacher should make sure of the following 

  1. That the Thought For The Week is sent out at least the Friday morning of the previous week or earlier if groups are out of school on the Friday.
  2. The content is appropriate and accessible for all levels of students at the school. 
  3. That there is a way to evidence that ‘collective worship’ has been happening across the school.

Content 

The content for TFTW should be well considered and aimed at getting the students to think of 

  1. Their self-development 
  2. Acceptance of others lifestyles and their beliefs
  3. Challenging stereotypes 
  4. Promoting values important to the school and wider community 
  5. Promoting British Values
  6. Philosophical questioning to promote higher thinking.

This is not possible in every quote and so a balance must be struck between these areas. 

The structure of the thought should 

  1. Contain a picture appropriate for a school activity 
  2. Has five days of discussion attributed to it 
  3. Is sent to staff on a slide to print or put on whiteboards
  4. Has come from a source whose attitude towards humanity is appropriate for school 
  5. In the event of a controversial quote being used questions must be challenging the thinker's attitude and must not harm to students 
  6. If necessary teachers notes for coordinators should be provided on each thought to allow group staff to be informed of why the quote is chosen and if any safeguarding issues might arise.
  7. Use disclaimer for informal language 
  8. Must have a citation to prevent plagiarism. (In the case of anonymous quotes please say anon) 

Evidence of learning 

TFTW is a short lesson which is aimed at encouraging discussion.

However it is important that some evidence of learning is collected to ensure 

  1. Learning is taking place
  2. Any opinions that need to be challenged are done so and recorded. 
  3. Any safeguarding concerns can be raised
  4. See what Impact it is having on the students and make changes accordingly. 

While it is the coordinators who deliver the topic the teacher must negotiate a way to capture evidence required in a way that is suitable for the staff and students involved and provide this when required. 

Examples of this can include

  1. Staff written comments from students 
  2. Staff or students writing what students have learnt from the discussion across the week or daily
  3. Handouts displaying the quote where students can comment if this has changed their attitudes or informed their opinions, and if they understood the quote or not. 

Links with other subjects

  1. Where a quote has been made by a person of specific interest to another subject a small amount of detail as to what impact that person has had on a subject area is good practise. 
  2. The school promotes use of formal English to be used in all lessons therefore any quote not using formal English must have a disclaimer so students can see it. 

Regular links with subjects and core themes are 

  1. PSHE and citizenship
  2. SMSC and philosophy 
  3. English
  4. British Values 
  5. Ethos of the School.