This category contains 15 posts

My Evolution Assembly. And the Young Creationists.

“Charles Darwin had a big idea; arguably, the most powerful idea ever.” Richard Dawkins That’s the quote I used to start my assemblies this week.  To me, it’s the most important and extraordinary story children should know and understand.  The story of evolution, of how we came into existence as Homo sapiens roaming the Earth … Continue reading

Our Christmas Assembly. Refugees, London, Kindness.

This year, the theme of our Christmas assembly was the link between us, the refugee crisis and the Christmas story. We also threw in some entertainment courtesy of the school choir and orchestra.  It may seem incongruous but a belting performance of Bohemian Rhapsody the school choir was an amazing opener; a personal highlight from … Continue reading

Sixth Former Caricatures…for assembly

One of my favourite KEGS assemblies was the one delivered to Year 12 early in the Sixth Form. The Sixth Form team used these caricatures to explore and anticipate various issues.  I’ve been given permission to share them from my former colleague Helen Wiltshire, Deputy Head and art teacher who drew them. The powerpoint version … Continue reading

A Cultural Capital Christmas Carol?

Christmas Past:  I’ve come from a school where Christmas was very traditional.  At KEGS, we all walked down to the cathedral for the annual Nine Lessons and Carols service.  As an atheist, I found this odd to begin with but it grew on me; there is no secular equivalent of a church service that includes … Continue reading

Bus Lane Assembly: We all gain from enforcing the rules.

The material in this post is the basis of an assembly I’ve given before about the need for enforcing rules. I’m about to use this particular preach again as we continue to push forward on our drive for impeccable behaviour. It’s been an intense few weeks as students learn where the boundaries lie, with literally … Continue reading

Pedagogy Postcard #13: Open-Ended Tasks.

A series of short posts about specific elements of teaching practice that I think are effective and make life interesting. Some are based on my own lessons and others are borrowed from lessons I’ve observed. In this post I want to suggest that open-ended tasks can play an important role in creating opportunities for students … Continue reading

Tackling Homophobia in Schools.

This post is a way of helping to publicise the excellent materials that are produced by Stonewall to help school tackle homophobia.  The website resources are superb: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/at_school/education_for_all/default.asp I’m also keen to seek out advice from others who have already been down this road with some success. As these graphics from a Stonewall leaflet show, … Continue reading

Assembly ideas and materials

Here are some materials  to stimulate reflection and discussion in assemblies: “Merci!” by Christine Rabette. A 5 minute video without dialogue. It shows the power a person has to change the mood and lift the spirits of others, through laughter – though symbolic of other effects in general. It’s lovely and makes a great assembly. … Continue reading

Assembly Idea: Can you get a straw through a potato? What does that tell you?

The ‘Straw through Potato’ assembly is one that is often referred to as part of the KEGS banter.  It is up there with ‘Lessons from Geese’ and ‘When I Taught The Verve’ as most-remembered (aka most-mocked) assemblies. But I like this one. I first encountered the idea as part of an INSET day at a … Continue reading

The Miracle of Christmas – and every other day.

This is the essence of my Christmas message as featured in our end of term assembly. The Santa story is a lovely piece of family magic.  My kids love it.. even though my son, aged 11 is at the eye-rolling stage when we put the mince pie and carrot out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  … Continue reading

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St Jude Songs. And others.