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By Fred Sedgwickpoet, former headteacher and author

Fred Sedgwick provides six inspirational assembly ideas to give children the best start to their school day

Further information

The assemblies in this article are adapted from 100 ideas for Primary Assemblies by Fred Sedgwick (Continuum, PB £9.99). Visit www.continuumbooks.com to order a copy.

What is an assembly? Good question. But first, what isn’t an assembly? Or at least, what shouldn’t it be? An assembly is not, or it shouldn’t be, a hymn, a prayer and a chance to tell the children off; a 20-minute chance for notices, or a run-through of a class’ attempt at hitting a National Curriculum target (First child: ‘We’ve been learning about sieving’. Second child: ‘We’ve been learning about sieving’ – and so on to the 27th child).

An assembly is an opportunity to make it clear to everyone that they are part of a learning community; to celebrate and, sometimes, to console, and to offer chances to meet the unseen. A good assembly opens a window on what (because we are all busy) we are often blind to – the light that is inside every one of us.

This article includes six of my ideas for assemblies based on different themes. I hope you, and the children in your school, enjoy them.

Shape up

1. Better shape up!

An assembly shouldn’t always be about the humanities, artistic or religious matters. We should celebrate the whole curriculum. Practise this assembly beforehand with a group of children.

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