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Pupils' perspectives of the Purpose & Value of Collective Worship: A Case study of 10-11 year-olds in a Faith-school 

Elizabeth Rutherford 

(PGCE General Primary) 2010-2011



Collective worship is a statutory requirement, however its purpose is often viewed as uncertain and its value controversial. This article explores the views of twelve Year 6 pupils at an urban, Church of England Aided Primary School. Those with a Christian faith, other faith or no religious background were interviewed in focus groups to identify if this affects pupils’ perspectives. All the students generally identified the purpose of collective worship to be threefold: gathering together as a whole school, learning new things and providing a religious element, particularly prayer. Most pupils seemed to value these aspects but their responses highlighted the need for children to be more involved in collective worship and for the content to be more varied and relevant to their daily lives. Finally, whilst pupils recognised the importance of a religious element, collective worship did not always engage them to self-reflect and therefore develop spiritually, especially boys from a non-religious background. It is difficult to know how this vital purpose of collective worship can be met. However, first steps may be to explain what worship and prayer are and then to give time for personal experience and response.

Copyright: © 2012. This paper is copyright of the author. (Please read the Journal's copyright information page by using the menu to the left of this page.)

The full paper is available for download as a pdf file: 063-092-rutherforde

Citation: Rutherford, E. (2011) .Pupils’ Perspectives of the Purpose and Value of Collective
Worship: A Case-study of 10-11 Year Olds in a Faith-school Context. Journal of Trainee Teacher Educational Research, Volume 3, pp.63-92. (Downloaded from, [date of access])