What is an assembly?
Assemblies are a quick 5 to 10 minute meeting, held two or three times a day (as per the Timetable), in which every student is expected to attend so we can relay any important information about classesexcursionsactivitiesrewards let certain students know that we need to speak with them.
Assemblies, compulsory for all students and IGLs, must be enforced from day one so it remains a constant part of the daily routine.
Why have an assembly?
Assemblies are a vital element in maintaining a constant flow of information throughout the course. Ideally, everything a student will ever need to know, that is not in their Student Handbook, will be discussed in assembly (and repeated during the house meetings). It also creates some normality during the students’ day and gives staff a great forum to deliver specific messages or find individual students.
How should they proceed?
The most important thing to remember is that your entire audience are not native English speakers, so you must speak slowly and clearly. Keep your information concise and basic and always check if they understand, or even choose certain students to repeat what you have said as this may keep everyone focused.
There must be a clear order of who is speaking and what they are saying. If staff are disagreeing with each other in front of the assembly, all respect is lost and the point you were trying to make is often lost with it. Be prepared and be rehearsed.
The Centre Manager is to attend/run as many assemblies as practical.
Of the three assemblies per day (morning, afternoon, evening) the basic obligations are as follows:
Morning (on lesson days) or (on other days)
This is the time to discuss class changes, Intensive English, Trinity Exams, One-to-One classes etc. The assembly hall is also a good place to leave classroom lists so the students can check these whenever they need to.
- When new classes are set, are to meet the students here and escort them to their classroom.
- Generally, this is a quick assemblyowever it is still important that this remains consistent so the students get into the right routine.
This is the time to talk about the leisure side of things and make any other announcements like optional excursions or activities, changes to the plans, messages from the office etc.
- All staff on activity duty who are not preparing the activity should be at this assembly with appropriate props (visual cues) to encourage as many students as possible to choose their activity. Tennis would bring their rackets, Salsa dancing would give a quick demo, art and craft bring a painted glass/t-shirt etc. The best time to encourage participation is when you have a captive audience, so this is the ideal moment to encourage all students to choose an event. Once the relevant staff member has announced all activities, each staff member should take turns in asking all interested students to leave with them. Peer group pressure may help encourage a few of the participants.
- Remaining students should then be encouraged to choose from the previous options before they leave the assembly hall. Elicit any other ideas from the remaining students if they seem uninterested in the previous options. All students join an activity.
- This is a good time to tally the House Points. There should be a board in the assembly hall that is constantly updated with the latest scores.
- Discuss the evening’s options as per the afternoon assembly. If there is a major event then this is the time to give direct instructions or if it is a themed disco, to show off the staff costumes.
- Advise of any excursion plans for the next day, including any changes, times and places to meet before departure.
- Any competitions are to be drawn or prizes are to be awarded.
If students are late for assembly
We cannot afford to tolerate tardiness, so fun penalties may be relevant like star jumps or sitting in a certain spot.
This is also a perfect opportunity to dock a few House Points. IGLs and staff can also be penalised with negative House Points if they are supposed to be there. This is not only good fun and gets a great reaction, but because it is in front of the whole school, it reiterates the House Points and offers a reminder that assemblies are compulsory.
How to keep assemblies fun
It is very easy for an assembly to become boring, so it is imperative that the leisure team work on entertaining ways to make the students want to be there.
Use whatever audio equipment you can in the assembly hall as loud music always sets a fun tone upon arrival. When turned off it also signals that someone is going to speak.
Guess the song competitions, karaoke, silly dance offs, prizes hidden under seats, skits, jokes, random throwing of sweets or other goodies – the list is endless and make sure you check the Activity Manual for more great ideas.
The key is keeping assemblies fun, so please ensure that the leisure team have a good list of fun options to maintain interest and dynamics throughout the course.
have quizzes or puzzles on the back. If the winner is drawn in front of the crowd, then next time more students will participate.