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My best assembly

Anxious about the end of the holiday? Your pupils are too.

Anxious about the end of the holiday? Your pupils are too.

At the beginning of September, most of us, if we're honest, have mixed feelings about the year to come. That longed-for summer break is over, the alarm clock is set and it's back to bells, books and the smell of freshly waxed floors.

It's good for children to know that few people find change easy, and that the anxieties and doubts they experience when moving classes or schools are common among adults, too. On the other hand, research shows that the most contented people are not those who avoid change but those who embrace it; those who learn, through trial and error, to manage it well.

Start this assembly by inviting everyone to review their summer holiday and to share any highlights. This can be done in pairs, then a few can be chosen to speak about their experiences - perhaps a child, a teacher and a teaching assistant.

For a listening focus, ask children to report back their partner's thoughts. Follow this by asking them to discuss anything they're worried about in the coming year. In both instances, share your own personal stories first - children love hearing these and it signposts how common these feelings and experiences are.

I conclude by showing a short clip from Kung Fu Panda, in which one character challenges another to forget the past and the future, and to focus on the present; to distinguish between what can and can't be controlled, and to believe in himself. After challenging everyone - teachers and pupils - to think about what this might mean for them, I follow with a song and a moment of reflection.

We work in schools because we believe in change. Education requires it; teachers affect it.

Deborah Jenkins is a primary teacher in Twickenham, London

To download resources for this assembly, visit bit.lyMyBestAssembly21August

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