At Ivy Lane School we offer assemblies covering a range of topics. It is our intention that assemblies extend children’s knowledge and understanding and also make links to learning in and out of the classroom. Children are also enabled to consider and learn about the local and wider community. Our assemblies aim to help children relate to their own experiences and to reflect on similarities and differences between themselves and other people.
Assemblies are planned termly by the school Assembly Lead and follow a weekly timetable. Visitors are invited to our school to share their knowledge and experiences, giving our children further learning opportunities and a more enriched curriculum. All teachers are expected to lead assemblies during the academic year. The themes for these assemblies are broad and diverse and may include a focus on the subjects they lead, hot topics from the news, events, celebrations or religious festivals. Online resources are often used to support children’s learning; these may include music, videos, images and PowerPoints.
As a result of attending varied and interesting assemblies, pupils know more and remember more. They will become aware of their local and wider community, as well as being able to make links between what they learn in the classroom and their lives outside of school. Pupils are kind and respectful, with a passion for learning. They can form their own opinions and develop respect for other people’s views and values. Our children recognise the importance of being able to observe their own religious customs and cultural traditions, whilst allowing for others to do the same.
WEEKLY ORGANISATION OF ASSEMBLIES
|What type of assembly?
|Head teacher’s assembly
|British values, PSHE links, school values.
|Class assembly or time for reflection
|Linking it to the children’s needs and development.
|A range of songs are learnt and practised
|Visitor or teacher assembly
|Hot topics from the news, people from our local and wider community, events, celebrations and religious festivals.
|Achievements of pupils and staff both in and out of school are celebrated.
Visitors are invited into our school on a voluntary basis to share their knowledge and experiences, giving our children further learning opportunities and a more enriched curriculum. Links are made across many of the subjects taught in classes. Sometimes the assemblies are supplemented with workshops in classrooms.
Recently a representative from the National Deaf Children’s Society visited to teach the children about being aware of people who are deaf or hearing impaired, as well as helping us to learn a bit of sign language. The local fire service came to talk about fire safety. Over the rest of this academic year (2019/20) we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from the following organisations: The Olympiad, Canal and River Trust, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Blue Cross, Zero Chippenham, and Wicked Weather Watch.
All visitor assemblies are supervised and monitored by members of our senior leadership team. Regular visitors are given guidance which they are expected to follow.
RELIGIOUS VISITOR ASSEMBLIES
We regularly welcome Christian visitors to our school. Across a term, children participate in a maximum of two assemblies (12 in total) led by these visitors.
In KS1 an ‘Open the Book’ assembly is delivered by the Salvation Army. In KS2 an assembly is delivered by Trevor Ranger from Synergy Trust. Both KS 1 and 2 have an assembly delivered by Jonathan Brain from Counties, part of Ladyfield Evangelical Church. The purpose of these assemblies is to enhance the Religious Education lessons already delivered by teachers, allowing children to develop their knowledge of what Christians believe. The fact that these are the beliefs of Christians is always made very clear.
Major religions other than Christianity are represented in assemblies planned by staff.
Assemblies form just part of our religious education in school. They fit alongside the Discovery RE scheme of work. Please take a look at the Religious Education (RE) section on our website for more detail on how the RE curriculum is delivered in our school.
Visitors delivering religious assemblies are asked to invite (rather than insist) children to make prayers their own by saying, “Amen,” if they agree with what is said. This is the same procedure followed by all staff at the school. Visitors are also asked to make it clear that they are talking about people of particular faiths and religions by using phrases such as, “Christians believe…”
ASSEMBLIES, RE AND THE LAW
All state schools in the UK are currently required to provide an act of daily worship (assembly) of a “broadly Christian character” under the 1944 Education Act.
We believe that whilst it is important for us to follow the guidance given to us, it also important to acknowledge the diversity of our children and their families. For this reason, we have a minimum number of religious assemblies. However, all assemblies include an opportunity for pupils to quietly reflect on what they have heard.