Religious Observance is defined as community acts which aim to promote the spiritual development of all members of the school community and express and celebrate the shared values of the school community.
All Scottish schools (Catholic and non-denominational) are required to provide Religious Observance events, now also known as Time for Reflection.
Chaplains and Schools fulfilling the Religious Observance requirement should complete an RO record for each event that can be kept for Inspection.
Download How Good Is Our School by Education Scotland Guidance.
Incorporating Religious Observance into school life
School assemblies are the most common way of practicing Religious Observance, often delivered by a partnership of school staff and chaplains.
The Scottish Government advises that every school should provide opportunities for religious observance at least six times in a school year, in addition to traditional celebrations central to the life of the school community. The traditional celebrations may vary from school to school and usually include Christmas, Easter, and events such as Holocaust Memorial Day.
Schools are becoming more creative with their Religious Observance and recognising the value of such events in fulfilling their commitment to health and wellbeing.
At primary school level it is common to find local churches working in partnership with their local schools to offer Religious Observance events focussed on festivals, such as Bubblegum 'n' Fluff at Christmas and Easter Code at Easter. At Secondary School level there are opportunities to assist schools with Rights Respecting Awards and Life Paths projects which can also fulfill the Religious Observance requirement.
NUA film series
NUA is a film series from Scripture Union Ireland that encourages questions, acknowledges doubt, and offers an engaging perspective on the Christian faith. The videos are great to use with young people in churches and schools and cover topics including: How did we get here? Jesus: fact or fiction? What was Jesus like?
Assemblies Online is a Christian website which creates assembly ideas which connect the latest films, music and television shows to Bible stories.
New assembly outlines are published regularly, keeping abreast of latest film releases. The site has separate primary and secondary school sections. The script and (where appropriate) activities in each outline are written up in a useful amount of detail, but the format is also flexible and easy to customise.
What’s the Story?
What's The Story? outlines primary school assemblies which bring the best Bible stories to life with dramatic and interactive storytelling. Each assembly includes a Bible story, a brief point to remember, a song and an imaginative prayer suggestion. Whether you choose a different story for every week of the school year or mark the major Christian festivals, these stories are fun to tell and entertaining to hear.
Local Church, Local School
Local Church, Local School examines the potential for churches to be able to help meet the spiritual needs of their local primary schools with a full understanding of legal and educational requirements.
Starting from a theological basis, the book moves on to examine how sustainable relationships can be built and how schools can make best use of the wide range of resources that the church can offer.
The Bible Project
The Bible Project has great five-minute animations on books and themes in the Bible suitable for older children and adults.