Taking assembly at the last minute

18th February 2000 at 00:00
Many confident teachers shrink at the idea of taking assembly. But filling in at the last minute, you will gain valuable experience.

* Keep it simple. Fix on one idea, and don't panic looking for more material - reflect on what you have.

* If you're stuck for a topic, a newspaper will give you one, or prepare a simple anecdote about your own children or your pets.

* If you have a dry mouth, suck a mint at the last minute.

* Ask some staff to stay in the hall - you will have their support if anyone misbehaves.

* Keep the preamble short. Act as if you are doing somethig familiar.

* Take "business" announcements first. Keep your story short - 10 minutes maximum.

In primary schools, try for some child involvement.

* If you're uncomfortable with prayer, say: "Let's have a moment of silence to think of members of our school who are ill."

* Finish with a silent dismissal, row by row. Make this work even if it takes time.

* Read Primary Assembly File or Secondary Assembly File, written with this contingency in mind (from PfP, 61 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8TL).

Gerald Haigh

Next week: covering for absent colleagues

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now