Get the most out of your school assemblies
Assemblies are a key part of the school day as they develop a feeling of unity between students and staff whilst reinforcing the school values, goals and ethos. As a school leader, producing new assembly ideas can be quite tricky but it is important to create an open discussion on fundamental topics in young people’s lives.
Assemblies provide schools with the opportunity to discuss a broad range of subjects and themes including school activities, the praising of students and staff achievements, the opportunity to inspire and motivate students and to discuss world issues.
We’ve put together some term-based assembly ideas to add to your yearly presentation plan.
September – Back to School Assembly
Back to school assemblies are a great opportunity to set and remind students of the school’s core values and principles so they have a clear idea of what is expected from them. A great place to start is by welcoming new pupils and introducing any new staff members to the rest of school. For some pupils heading back to school can be an exciting and daunting change. Perhaps discuss the topic of changes that we go through in life and that it can be scary to begin with but that it is crucial in order for us to grown and learn. Encourage the students to think about how they can support and help one another to adjust to change.
October – Black History Month Assembly
Black History month runs from the 1st – 31st October and is the time of year to shine a focus on the culture, history and achievements of black and ethnic minorities. Discuss poignant timelines in history and link to the key figures that advocated for change such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Also discuss the more up-to-date examples of achievements and successes of the black community and encourage students to respect and gain insight in to different cultures.
November – Remembrance Day Assembly
Discuss with the students that Remembrance Day is in commemoration of World War One ending in 1918 but it is also the day to honour and think of those that have lost their lives in the line of duty. Explain some history about the First World War and the effect it had on people’s lives. Discuss why we wear the poppy and how the Poppy Appeal fundraises money to support the Armed Forces community. Finish the assembly with a two-minute silence in remembrance of the lives lost.
December – Christmas Assembly: A time to think of others
Begin by discussing how exciting and indulgent Christmas can be and ask some of the students what they are hoping to get for Christmas. Then discuss that Christmas isn’t about what we can get but it is about what we can give. Explain the different ways in which they can help those less fortunate than themselves this Christmas, such as donating to charity, spending quality time with the elderly, making a really thoughtful present for someone, volunteering or doing a good deed.
January – New Year’s Resolutions Assembly
Welcome everyone back to school after the Christmas period and discuss the idea of New Year Resolutions. Explain that people generally make resolutions to stop bad habits such as trying not to be late anymore whereas others make resolutions to start new good habits such as exercising. The main aim of a New Year’s Resolution is to make a positive change to your life. Share a resolution that you have made for yourself. Then ask the students to think of a school related New Year Resolution that they can give themselves. List a few suggestions such as not talking in class as much this term, being kinder to other pupils, doing homework on time or reading a book. Ask some of the pupils to tell you their resolutions and explain the positive impact that it could have.
February – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Assembly
Discuss the impact that we as humans have had on the environment looking at the destruction of the rainforest, plastic in the oceans, air pollution and the effects of the fashion industry. Then go on to discuss the changes that we can all make in our day to day lives to have a positive impact such as reducing the amount of goods we consume, reusing and mending what we have instead of throwing items away and the recycling of all waste materials.
March – Revision Tips Assembly
For many students their exam period will be just around the corner so it is essential to encourage them to start revising if they haven’t already. Make them aware of a variety of revision techniques. Start by explaining that there are many different ways of revising and something that works for someone else may not work for you. Ask several students how they normally revise and how useful they find it. Discuss the idea of making a revision plan and that it is better to do a little bit each day over a longer period of time than to do a lot of revision at the very last minute. That way it will feel more achievable and less stressful. Discuss a variety of revision methods and techniques such as flashcards, mind maps, reading and writing from text books, previous exam papers and post it notes.
April – Easter Assembly
Easter is a Christian bank holiday and many of your students may follow different faiths or come from different cultures so may not know very much about Easter. Explain that we celebrate Easter by giving eggs as a symbol of new life and that for Christians the egg is a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection. Discuss the different ways in which people may celebrate Easter and that it falls on a different date each year.
May – Mental Health Week Assembly
Mental Health week falls in May so this is an excellent time to discuss different types of mental health with students. Discuss how common mental health problems are in young people and that it is likely that some people in the school are currently suffering from poor mental health. Consider some of the most common conditions, the symptoms and causes as well as where and how you can access help. List some examples of anxiety and depression such as feeling anxious about getting answers wrong in class or feeling you have let your parents down by not getting the grades you expected. Demonstrate the importance of looking after your mental health and that if they are struggling they should seek out help and speak to a friend, family member or teacher.
June – Making Future Choices Assembly
This can be adapted to any year group as they will all be making choices at different stages in their education that can shape their future including choosing which GCSE subjects to take, what A levels to study, where to study, apprenticeships, university and career choices. Ask the students where they see themselves in the future and what choices do they think they will have to make to reach their goals. Explain that it is ok to feel anxious about what the future holds but the only way to predict the future is by creating it. They may find that they start on a journey that is not as straightforward as they first thought, they may change their minds about their goals along the way or they could reach their goal at a different time to their peers. However, explain that everyone is on their own path and that life isn’t a race.
July – End of Term Awards Assembly
An end of term awards ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate the students’ achievements throughout the year. Acknowledging and celebrating the students’ achievements, whether they’re big or small, will fill them pride and encourage them to go on to make positive choices. The awards could be a combination of subject awards, best attendance, sports and activity awards, personal goal awards or titles such as class clown and most likely to be Prime Minister.