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A new normal for the school assembly…

By Picture News Education Consultant Jo Martin

Assemblies have always been part of school life – in the school hall, sitting down (usually cross-legged). We have had singing assemblies, visitor assemblies, award assemblies, school values assemblies, important message assemblies and more! It is usually that window of time, where everyone in school can come together and connect with one another. But assemblies have had to change…

Assemblies are now all taking place in our classrooms, in our bubbles. We can all lead a class assembly, but I believe it is important for children to remain connected across school, even though their paths no longer cross. The use of Zoom and Teams, to stream assemblies across the whole school and within all classes is a fabulous way of doing this and I have seen many schools adopt this approach.

Another very easy but incredibly high-impact, weekly assembly is our very own Picture News Virtual Assembly! Press play, pause during discussion time and share responses across your classes.

Each week, our Virtual Assembly follows a familiar structure…

  1. Sharing the poster Encouraging children to look carefully at the image, ask questions and make predictions.

2. Share the story A current affairs story that children can potentially impact.

3. Emotion Response An opportunity to develop emotion vocabulary and see how others can feel and react differently. Great for developing respect.

4. The Question A big, thought-provoking question that can be discussed and debated.

5. Interesting Statistic A fact or statistic linked to the story.

6. Reflection A chance to reflect on the assembly and what we have learned.

7. Challenges Two activities if you want to develop some of the content further in the classroom.

As our Virtual Assemblies are based on current affairs, children can develop an interest in what is happening in our world, share their voice and have an impact! Use the link below to watch this week’s assembly and let us know what you think!

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