First of all I should say I’m invited by our year 6 leaders who run the weekly assembly to speak.
I’m allotted about 5-6 minutes in a busy 25 minute program that has students singing the national anthem, reciting the welcome to country and acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land, performing dances and songs including the school song, having other teachers present awards e.g. Arts or Mandarin awards and a few messages about upcoming events for the week.
At the first few assemblies I speak about some of our school values and what that means to a person at EPS:
- friendliness: a simple smile or hello to someone goes a long way to buildings a sense of belonging and we can all do it – so we practice it a few times at assembly.
- respect, responsibility: and how we might demonstrate these: rubbish in the bin, wearing a hat, being on time for lessons
This year I varied the message a little on what it means to be a student. How the word is 2,000 years old and has Roman origins and implies studious – diligence – perseverance and that these are the keys to success.
I spoke about students in different countries and how they might demonstrate these values or assets and in a few weeks time I’m introducing two new awards: a good student award (someone who demonstrates this assets) and a local citizenship award (sponsored by some local business). Each award comes with a small prize. The citizenship has a light lunch for 2 at a local cafe. The good student award comes with a small token from either our sister school in China (small wooden combs. book marks) or from travels where I have visited other schools in Asian countries like Singapore, Hong Kong or India.
I speak about these tokens talking about the history behind them and how they symbolise studentship. In this way I can contribute to our intercultural studies as well as promote studiousness.
In sharing this I’m wondering how others approach the weekly school assembly and what they do. Please feel free to share your thoughts.