Prayer and Liturgy Policy

Policy for Prayer and liturgy 

Mission Statement  

Live and learn with Jesus.

We follow Jesus through these values; love, fairness, happiness, kindness and friendship. 

The Nature of Prayer and Liturgy  

We believe that Christian worship in a Catholic School is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action to God’s invitation to enter into relationship, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness to the Holy Spirit.  



Collective Worship is a term used in legislation in this country but is not a phrase we would readily use in a Catholic context. “Prayer” and “Liturgy” are terms more commonly used.  



Liturgy literally means ‘work of the people’ and points to the fact that something else is going on beyond prayer. It is the formalising of worship at the heart of which is symbol and action. The four part structure of Gather-Listen-Respond-Go forth is common to many liturgies it is one way of understanding the structure of the mass.  



Once the early fathers of the church described prayer as “the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or requesting of good things from God”. These words illustrate why in this Catholic school we begin and end each session of the day in prayer. Prayer may be an individual experience, or if it is an activity with others may form part of an act of worship. Prayer consists of: Listening, speaking, reflecting and resting 


Legal Requirements  

We acknowledge the legal requirements that there must be a daily act of worship for all pupils. This can take place at any time during the school day and can be either a single act of worship for all pupils, or separate acts of worship in school groups. We understand that simply holding an assembly that includes a prayer, said either by the teacher or everyone present, does not fulfil this requirement. We also acknowledge that Prayer and liturgy and assembly are distinct activities. An assembly is any experience of gathering/assembling in school. It may include an act of worship and as such be part of the same gathering, but the difference between the two will always be made clear.  

In this voluntary aided Catholic school, responsibility for arranging Prayer and Liturgy rests with the governing body after consultation with Mrs Ahmed, our Head Teacher and Mrs Nice our RE Subject Leader 

The act of worship is not designated curriculum time under regulations and will not be considered as part of our RE lessons (for time purposes). 


The Place of Prayer and liturgy in the Life of Sacred Heart, Leigh 

We endorse the belief that Prayer and Liturgy takes into account the religious and educational needs of all who share in it:  

  • Those who form part of the worshipping community in church  

  • Those for whom school may be their first and only experience of church.  

  • Those from other Christian traditions, or none  

  • Those from other faith backgrounds  

It will be an educational activity or experience to which all can contribute and from which all can gain.  

We will continue to foster and deepen the children’s personal relationship with God our Father, daily in prayer. We do this by helping them become aware of God’s Presence in their lives and of His love for them by leading them to respond to Him in a manner suited to their age and stage.  

This may be in one of the following ways:  

  • Prayer of silence  

  • Spontaneous prayer  

  • Praying through gesture or action  

  • Formal prayer  

Children are encouraged to pray in the morning, before lunch and before leaving school. Prayer and liturgy in this school is more than just a legal requirement; it is at the heart of our school. It is an integral part of school life and central to the Catholic tradition that we proudly follow. 


The Aims of Prayer and Liturgy  

We believe that Prayer and Liturgy in our school aims to provide opportunity for all pupils and staff:  

  • To contemplate something of the mystery of God  

  • To know and love Christ  

  • To be open to the vision and imagination to the wonder of living in God’s world, and the responsibilities that follow on from this.  

  • To reflect on spiritual and moral issues  

  • To explore their own beliefs  

  • To respond to and celebrate life. 

  • To experience a sense of belonging and develop community spirit  

  • To develop a common ethos and shared values  

  • To enrich religious experience  

  • To grow in liturgical understanding and development  

  • To reinforce prayers that are part of the Catholic tradition  

  • To reinforce positive attitudes  

  • To participate fully  

  • To make time to wonder at’, ‘to come to terms with’ and ‘to give worth to’.  



All acts of Prayer and Liturgy in this school will:  

  • Give glory and honour to God  

  • Be a quality activity fundamental to the life of the school and its Catholic character  

  • Give children positive liturgical experiences appropriate to their age, aptitude and family backgrounds in order to prepare them for the liturgical life of the Church.  

In order to do this, celebrations will:  

  • Be kept small wherever possible or appropriate to personalise the experience  

  • Be short and appropriately paced (5-7 minutes for EYFS and Key Stage 1 and 7-11 minutes for Key Stage 2- a minute for the age of the children in the class) 

  • Be simple, including a range of experiences offered in a variety of groupings and in a variety of settings.  

In order to achieve the above, Prayer and liturgy is organised as follows:  

  • Monday- Class Prayer and liturgy 

  • Tuesday- whole school Prayer and Liturgy centred round Gospel readings led by the Headteacher 

  • Wednesday- Class Prayer and Liturgy  

  • Thursday- Class Prayer and liturgy 

  • Friday- whole school Prayer and Liturgy centred round Gospel readings led by the Headteacher 


Prayer and liturgy in our school follows the pattern below: 

  • Gather- the children gather together (with reflective and calm music, candles are lit, statues used, sign of the cross, have a focus linked to theme) 

  • Listen- a reading from the Bible- the Bible is held so the children see where Scripture comes from. Staff will then unpick the word of God to help children understand, then they are given time to reflect on what they have heard.  

  • Respond- a ritual movement that everyone can join in with that fits with the theme (gestures such as stillness, shaking hands, holding hands, pray, respond to prayer) 

  • Go Forth- how the children will spread the word of God. Encourage children to think about what they can ‘hold on to’ from the experience of worship that they can live out in their daily life. 

Policy for Prayer and liturgy 

Mission Statement  

Live and learn with Jesus. We follow Jesus through these values; love, fairness, happiness, kindness and friendship. 


Prayer and Liturgy in this school is planned following a structure with reference to the Church’s seasons, ‘Come and See’, significant dates, any extenuating circumstances and the curriculum.  

  • Scripture will be the focus during all Prayer and Liturgy.  

  • It will take place in a variety of settings.  

  • It will relate to the school community in the light of the schools aims and Mission.  

  • There will be flexibility to respond to changing situations within the school and the wider community.  

  • We will aim to teach children the skills to enable them to prepare, organise and lead worship.  



Prayer and liturgy is recorded: 

  • Weekly Prayer and liturgy planning sheet by the class teacher (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) 

  • Headteacher plans will show the whole school worship (Tuesday and Friday) 

  • Through displays, worship focus and children’s responses. 


Monitoring and Evaluation  

Throughout the year as part of the schools monitoring calendar, the schools provision for Prayer and liturgy will be evaluated to consider whether it meets the needs of pupils and whether it truly reflects the aims and mission of the school. Observations of Prayer and Liturgy, discussions with those who experience worship (e.g. pupils) and discussions with those who lead worship are carried out by the Head Teacher and the RE Leader at various times throughout the year. Outcomes of monitoring will be shared with all staff and governors with recommendations for future action. Observation and monitoring records are kept and form part of the self-review process. 



There are many resources available for Prayer and Liturgy. These are situated either centrally in the R.E storage area on each floor or in classes. There is also scripture located on the shared drive for all staff to access. There is a copy of God’s Story and Church’s Story in every class. There are several internet sites that are also a useful resource for planning.  



Eucharistic celebrations are a very important part of our Prayer and Liturgy strategy. Opportunities for children to participate are maximised and parents and other members of the school and Parish community are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate. The celebrations will take the following forms:  

  • Whole school masses  

  • Class masses and Liturgies  

  • Feast Day Celebrations 

  • Stay and Pray Sessions  

Children will be prepared for the Sacraments through the sacramental programme.  


The Role of the Prayer and Liturgy Subject Leader  

In relation to Collective Worship the subject leader will:  

  • Formulate a written Prayer and Liturgy Policy  

  • Ensure that Prayer and Liturgy is appropriate to the age, aptitude and family backgrounds of pupils  

  • Ensure that Prayer and Liturgy takes into account the religious and educational needs of all who share it  

  • Organise themes for Prayer and Liturgy  

  • Organise training when needed  

  • Assist the Governors and Headteacher to carry out their legal responsibility with regard to Prayer and Liturgy  

  • Monitor Prayer and Liturgy through observations, planning scrutiny and discussions with pupils  

  • Ensure standards are maintained and developments made in Prayer and Liturgy  

  • Act as a consultant to colleagues  

  • Report to Headteacher and Governing Body  

  • Inform ECTs of the school policy in regards to Prayer and Liturgy  

  • Liaise with the Christian Education Department  

  • Lead and organise in-service training  

  • Keep personally up to date  

  • Evaluate resources  

  • Develop resources  

  • Manage delegated budget  


This policy will be reviewed in Autumn 2024 by the Subject leader, Headteacher and Governors. 


Chair of Governors:_________________________ Headteacher:_____________________________