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"If you’ve taken a primary school assembly, nothing else is going to be frightening"

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lindenlea, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Wendy Cope said this on Woman's Hour this morning, when discussing public speaking, and made me laugh. I do agree. I think Primary school teachers are identifiable by their ability to address large numbers of people with equanimity. I could make you laugh with stories of disastrous assemblies but honestly, even after all these years, I'd rather not recall the details too clearly.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I loved doing assemblies!

    I can only remember fantastic ones!
    kibosh, ValentinoRossi and lindenlea like this.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I've never been able to understand why seemingly large numbers of teachers (primary and secondary) go white at the thought of doing assembly. They're not exactly difficult.
    kibosh likes this.
  4. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Me [having consulted a book "This Day in History"]: Today is Helen Keller's birthday! [Looks at large sea of expectant faces and loses bottle entirely...] Well, er, well, um, well it would be except she's dead. [Front three rows of Reception and Year 1 children burst into tears and have to be lead out of the hall].


    Me: ... and there are now some fantastic new and exciting books in the school library. I've brought some to assembly with me. Look - here is a new set of adventures for Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys!
    rachelpaula008, kibosh, Noja and 9 others like this.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    One of my last upload_2016-2-23_16-47-21.png assemblies was on THIS day. So I talked like a pirate. It was extremely entertaining if I do say so myself!

    I wore a patch over one eye and got dressed up and evryfink!

    (KS3 and 4 Special School.)

    You can assume correctly that we didn't have a policy on assemblies being worthy and improving and educational. It was none of those things. We had a laugh though.
    cissy3, ValentinoRossi and lindenlea like this.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Well lucky old you! ;)

    Oh I did them by the hundreds, they just weren't always very good.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I'm not saying mine were always very good. Just that they weren't difficult or stressful.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Well, I enjoyed mine. I didn't do hundreds. Not being HT or SMT or anything. So I had plenty of time to prepare.

    I dare say I'd have been slated by OFSTED!!!!
  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I did 'em in front of Ofsted - each time my school was inspected, I took the assemblies for the whole week (just to spare any other poor sods having to do it then). Managed to get the tick for the act of worship, too.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  10. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    Mine (primary) usually involve starting off well-intentioned with a story and end up with kids acting out allsorts of things, laughing and a general chat going on. Followed by total bribery with house points for sitting still and singing up!

    Plus all kinds of in-jokes with the older kids who I taught a few years ago.

    They're not a complete doss, I hasten to add. I always keep them to a theme. But they're not scary to do :D
  11. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I liked doing KS1 assembly. I enjoyed seeing all their little faces looking up as I told a story from memory with assistance from the 'audience' and often got applause at the end.

    While I've been doing exam invigilation the thought has crossed my mind when I've been addressing 90 teenagers 'what if they don't do what I say?' - but so far they always have done.
    Middlemarch likes this.
  12. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I occasionally pondered the fact that some kids who will behave dreadfully for their teachers when in a group of 20-30 will behave impeccably when in a group of 210 in assembly - at both the schools where I was head (and at the four in which I taught before that) they always stood at the entry of the assembly-giver, sat in respectful silence listening to whomever was delivering the assembly and filed out when told to, in rows, at the end. One group was always kept back to stack and put away the chairs and they always did it sensibly.

    I never came up with the reason why this was, unfortunately. Anyone got any ideas?
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  13. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    My best one is on the theme of "don't judge a book by the cover" I get an old dog food tin, wash it out thoroughly and put a mix of jelly and mars bar chunks in so that it still looks like dog food. I then get someone to smell it and go yuk.

    I then eat it. The looks on the children's faces is priceless.
  14. ValentinoRossi

    ValentinoRossi Star commenter

    I'm going to pinch this one!!
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It is so true about behaviour. (What @Middlemarch said.)

    At Feral Junior we used to keep them in assembly for about an hour. This meant we didn't have to teach them. Put them in rows with a dozen pairs of eyes and we could control them. One poor soul to 30+ of them just didn't work as well.

    1. They can't hide behind furniture
    2. They're below you (on the floor)
    3. There seem to be a lot of you glaring (I mean GAZING pleasantly) at them
    4. Kids do like stories usually
    5. They're in rows not the dreaded groups
    6. They can't fail at it like they can at maths
    Dragonlady30 and InkyP like this.
  16. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    I used to wheel out the piano, dust it down and we'd all have a jolly good sing-along. I'd keep the whole school in the hall for the ages and the teachers would love having time "off." Nowadays, they want the kids back within 10 minutes so that they can cram in as much "proper" work as possible in one day.
    cissy3 likes this.
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yeah, me too!

    I was the pianist. Crikey, they were good at hymns! We could spin it out for ages. And, just like you @onmyknees, it was appreciated by colleagues.
    cissy3 and Dragonlady30 like this.
  18. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    This is weird, but I can get on stage to act, sing or dance but speaking to a group of peers or doing an assembly would make me tremble. Explain that. I suppose it's all to do with hiding behind a mask and issues of self-esteem.
  19. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    As a retired Secondary School teacher, I was never fearful of what the kids might say, It was the comments of my colleagues which terrified me!!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:

    cissy3 and Dunteachin like this.
  20. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    T my old school, the deputy had 2 stooges-one to do the yuk smell and another staff member to eat it!! The effect on the kids was brilliant!!! :D

    Go for it. Honestly, you won't be disappointed with the reaction!! :D

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