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The latter!

 

We have a whole school PSE type assembly on Monday. On Tuesday we have a singing assembly--FS do not come. Wednesday is whole school Church assembly---at least I think Reception attend that one, as Im on playground duty I dont stay in! Thursday is year group assembly and Friday is Celebration Assembly for the whole school. Our assemblies are very short anway and any child who is struggling is taken out or stays out as appropriate anyway.

It can be quite an important time to encourage whole school identity.

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We build it up. We start going to the Friday whole school assembly i agree with Susan for whole school identity. We then go to the lower school singing assembly so we learn the songs with years 1 and 2 that we will sing in the other assemblies. By the summer term we are in all of the assemblies again they are not very long.

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We go to the key stage 1 assembly on a monday, when certificates etc are given out and the Head will usually cover something relevent, then we go to siunging assembly on a Wednesday to learn some songs and on a Friday the assembley is run by the key stage 2 children (these children plan, rehearse and deliver an assembly on a topic of their choice) and we give our children the option of going, if it is a topic that interests them they can go, if not they can stay and play. Surprisingly they all wanted to go to the one about Hornby trains!!!

 

I have suggested the children don't go but they all seem to enjoy them and want to go!

 

S

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Unfortunately because I teach in a one class per year group school we are expected to attend all assemblies and they are really not appropriate for Reception. We have a Head teacher led one on a Monday, the Deputy Head on Tuesday, Wedenesday is Church as the school is physically joined onto the Church we have a Clergy led assembly every Wednesday. Thursday is a bit hit or miss as to whether assembly takes place and Friday is an Achievement assembly which has been known to last an hour and a half and then the head wonders why the children get restless. I would love to attend less frequently and to have a Class based assembly but have been told NO we must attend as a Whole school.

 

Sorry if this sounds like a moan I just find it very hard to be expected to keep the children sitting on a cold hall floor for up to 30 minutes when they don't understand what is being said or shown to them ridiculous. Especially when we sometimes sit and wait for the rst of the school to arrive and because they take so long my Class and Yr1 get restless and then the whole school gets sent out of assembly to think in their classrooms for 10 minutes about how they should behave and are then asked to come and report back and sit through the whole assembly as well.

Sorry think you caught me at a stressed out moment but do feel slightly better having shared it with you all. Any suggestions as to how to resolve this issue would be really appreciated.

 

Nicky Sussex :oxD

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I work in a FSU, the reception intake go to assembly on wednesdays as it is the celebration one which can vary in length, also they go to the KS1 on tuesdays which is much shorter as it does not start until 2.50pm.

 

As a FSU we are have to "do" an assembly every half term.

 

If a nursery child has a sibling "doing something" and we are aware or if the parent requests then they will go to assembly with the reception.

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During the first half term my reception class just went to the celebration assembly on Friday, after half term they started to go to the KS1 singing assembly to learn the christmas songs. After Easter they will probably start going to more, depends if I think they are ready for it I guess. So its a gradual build up.

 

Last year they all went every day but I decided that as we are a primary school the whole school ones really werent relevant and I felt that assembly accounted for part of their adult led time which could be much better used for other things. My head seemed open to it, I just had spent a bit of time preparing my argument! I have to say that not all other members of staff agreed with it but I know it has been much more beneficial for them not going.

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In my school this year reception go to assembly, but not nursery. Last year the reception teacher hardly ever brought them to assemblies and this was generally frowned upon because as a small school the whole school identity is important. I think bringing reception children (not nursey, I think it's too much for them) into assembly is good so long as the assembly isn't too lengthy to help the FS feel part of the whole school and also because it helps prevent the "them and us" attitudes which can develop subconsiously in everybody's minds. By the latter I don't mean necessary a nasty attitude in terms of snide remarks or anything but just a general feeling that the FS unit is somehow apart from the rest of the school, particularly if it is in a seperate wing or off a seperate corridor.

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My children go into assembly once they are ready. (I only have reception). I tend to start taking them in after half term, or when they are full time. I start by always doing the monday pshe assembly and the friday celebration assembly. As I am in a small school I feel (like others have said) its really important the children have some time where they are part of the whole school. I feel that by keeping them out of assemblies, playtimes etc we are cutting them off from the rest of the school and therefore making transition harder on them. And if the government really mean that to have good quality play and learning, we do not make them attend these things, then maybe reception classes should not be in a school. (sorry its my own personal issue that reception seem cut off from the main school)

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Well I think you are probably right, Reception in my mind shouldn't be at school but part of the nursery setting because the foundation stage is so different to KS1. I think it is difficult for reception teachers to deliver EYFS well and conform to the whole school systems. But striking a balance is probably the best thing.

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First term our reception only attend achievement assemblies once a month. In term 2 they join whole school for the heads assembly on mondays but are not expected to join in the other daily assemblies. We don't have playtimes with the rest of the school either which has really helped with our daily planning and structure!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

we took our children in last year but it was quite hard going. This year I spoke to the head about assemblies/formal PE lessons etc under the banner of transition. We decided that the children would only go in for special assemblies and would be gradually integrated into the rest of the school as and when appropriate.

 

We are a primary school so have lower school assemblies twice a week and whole school celebrations once a week - other two days are class based.

 

When the whole school are involved in an initiative we go into assembly e.g. we participated in 'Shoes for Africa'. Reception children sat behind year 1 and year 2 children in their key groups with their key person and on a PE mat (I agree that school halls are too cold to sit on for any length of time).

 

This works well as children feel secure in key group and for those children who find it hard to sit upright they can lean against adult/sit on lap for security. All the other teachers in school were informed as to how we would sit. We also whispered to the children what was going on if they asked us questions.

 

When it was end of term assembly I asked the head teacher to do all the important whole school things first - this she did and then Lower School left the hall so Upper School could finish off bits and pieces. Some of whole school assemblies can go on and on and the children get really fidgetty.

 

We will gradually introduce the children to Lower School Assemblies from Spring term onwards. Regards EY feeling part of school we have Golden Time on Fridays after assembly and the children can choose to go in any of the LS classrooms. We don't force Yr R to go to another classroom but those who are ready enjoy the chance to visit other bases.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I too am interested in this going or not going to school assembly. I have been led to believe that it is bad practice to expect Foundation Stage children to attend assemblies, but is there actually any direct guidance about this. I am being pressured to attend and would like to have some guidance, or research to quote at people. Can anyone help me.

Thanks

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I would never go so far as to say it's bad practice to have FS children attend assemblies, many people here take their FS classes to assemblies. It depends on the individual schools and classes, as well as what assemblies are like. Certainly there are arguments against it about not interupting children's play and factors such as concentration and the irrelevence of assembly content, but if assemblies are short and aimed at the whole school then I think it's great for FS children to attend at least sometimes. As has been mentioned many times in this thread it gives them much more of a feeling of being part of the school. I wouldn't recommend it for nursery children unless it was a very special and exciting assembly that would be relevent to them, but for reception children I think it's nice for them to go and sit with the bigger children and develop a feeling that they are part of the whole rather than being stuck in a FS unit or classroom and never seeing the rest of the school. This is especially good in the summer term as it helps to lesson the gap between FS and year one.

 

Ultimately though it's up to the teacher to know what is best for their children depending on the circumstances, length of assemblies, maturity of the children etc. If there is a general feeling in the school that you should attend though there is an argument that you should go or risk having the FS seem remote, standoffish and not part of the school (this happened in my school last year and it's not a good route to go down). Perhaps you could compromise and take them into some assemblies but not others as many on here do. If you're worried about them sitting then make sure you're taking them to the shorter assemblies, although you never know they might pleasantly surprise you with how quickly they get used to it and also how the influence of seeing the whole school sitting nicely really gets them to follow along.

Edited by Guest
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