Assembly is an extremely important event in the life of a school. It is the time when we come together as a community, share our values and celebrate achievements.
Every month, we introduce the new Value of the Month: in assemblies in-between, teachers and classes do presentations, sing songs, and recite poetry about related themes, for example: ‘How to stay motivated with a difficult problem’, ‘courageous people throughout history’. These themes are adapted to be appropriate to the different ages, and this is why we do assemblies in the correct phase of learning: EYFS & KS 1 (Mr. Peter), KS2 (Mr. Liam) and KS3 (Mr. William) all have age-appropriate assemblies led by their Phase Leader. For example, KS3 (Years 7-9) have recently learned all about developing ‘intrinsic motivation’.
We also use the more traditional forms of ‘extrinsically’ rewarding students for displaying good attitudes to learning and positive behaviour; we do this through weekly class teacher’s ‘Star of the Week’ awards, and at the end of the month our specialist teachers give out their ‘Star of the Month’ certificates. We also share the results of any Inter-House competitions and House Point totals.
Our Houses also say something of our values: we were careful in choosing great historical figures who also represent our CIS Russia values of diversity and being internationally minded. We have personalities from the continents of Europe, Africa and America, different races and different genders; we believe it is extremely important that children grow up to value difference and encourage inclusivity.
As a Values-Based Education school, we have also recently introduced our own Festivalnaya School Creed, which is intended to encapsulate our values and foster a sense of belonging. Saying this together not only helps our children associate themselves with the values therein, but it also introduces some tricky English vocabulary and concepts, like ‘humility’ and ‘gratitude’, but also idioms like ‘never turn tail’.
We even make room for our special guest speakers who come along and impart their advice, such as recent visits by Olympian sports stars, and a talk on ‘Trust’ by a professional deep-sea scuba diver.
Our assemblies are often exciting, frequently challenging, but seldom boring; they say a lot about who we are and what we believe, and as Headteacher, I see them as being and continuing to be an integral part of all that we do.
Michael Leach, Headteacher
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