20th October 2000 at 01:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

I have to do an assembly with my class in front of parents and the rest of the school. I am filled with panic at the prospect.

I'm surprised that you are being asked to do an assembly so early on in your career. Let your induction tutor know how you feel and ask everyone for help. Watch other people's assemblies and then plan yours using a similar structure.

In choosing what to do, think of what is topical or build on work which you are doing with your class anyway. There are plenty of books available to give you ideas, too.

Whatever you decide, keep things simple. Don't be tempted to try to do a better, more exciting assembly than other teachers. The effort this takes will simply not beworth it.

For your first assembly, choose children you can trust for the main roles - ones who behave well, are good atenders, who speak up and are not shy. As you gain more confidence, you can use assemblies to boost certain children by giving them key parts that will really extend their speaking skills and self-esteem. If you're doing a play, keep props and costumes to a minimum and find them in plenty of time.

Plan the assembly in detail, even down to seating arrangements. This will mean you only need a few rehearsals - and that the time is used well. Involve the children.

This probably won't be their first assembly and they will have lots of ideas. Stay positive and calm in rehearsals. Children can get very excited but remember to control this through praise rather than nagging.

You will feel a great sense of achievement when it's over, so celebrate.

E-mail your questions to: Bubb regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence

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