Saturday, February 27, 2010

School Assembly : An Opportunity for Learning Enrichment

What is an assembly? An assembly is the gathering of all the individuals related to an institution at one place for the same cause. It is a reflection of the general impression & discipline of a school It The assembly can also be defined as a group of classes which meets at a specified ,pre –arranged time for the purpose of sharing the social ,emotional and cultural life of the school (Greenberg,1965)
Ten Important Functions /Educational values of the Assembly
1. To instill a sense of unity and a common school spirit for students. Assembly is a place where all members of the school are brought together and through expression of opinions and participation in the programme, learn the value of cooperative efforts and action .A sense of unity is thus developed throughout the whole student body.
2. To motivate expression and overcome self-consciousness.
3. To share information
4. To allow special visitors to speak
5. To create punctuality, regularity, sincerity & a sense of responsibilities among teachers & students
6. To gradually enhance the knowledge of students as well as teachers
7. To create a spirit of patriotism, unity, faith & discipline.
8. To reinforce positive behavioural patterns
9. To focus on social & emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy & social skills.
10. To allow the student body and staff to celebrate upcoming or recent events.
Objectives of the assembly in the context of Pakistan
National
• Patriotism
– Pride, national identity, unity, empathy, compassion, motivation.
• To create awareness about and to celebrate important National & cultural events
• To create awareness about current affairs
• To commemorate and rejoice being a Pakistani
Religious • To begin the day with the name of Allah
• To give awareness about the Quran and Sunnah.
• To motivate students and teachers towards becoming true Muslims.
• To create the spirit of humility, and submission, to the Almighty
• To motivate towards becoming the real vicegerents to the Almighty
Social and Cognitive • To provide avenues for curricular and co-curricular activities.
• To provide sense of unity and discipline
• To encourage students interaction
• To create a safe and creative learning environment by sharing of ideas.
• To provide positive incidental learning experiences
• To stimulate observation and thinking
Arrangement of School Assembly
The pattern and components may vary on a regular basis but some components must always be there. Separate assemblies should be organized according to age and class levels.e.g.
• Pre-Juniors /Early Childhood
• Primary /Junior section
• Secondary /Senior section
At times whole school assemblies must also be planned according to the events and situations.
• Call for Assembly with bell ringing, duration is usually 15 to 20 minutes but can be reduced to 10 in some cases.
• All classes must come for the assembly under the supervision of a class in charge in proper lines.
• Every person (Head Teacher, Support staff, teachers, and students) should be present at the Assembly.
• For the better arrangement of Assembly, assign duties to some teachers e.g. cleanliness, personal grooming (uniform haircut, nails etc)
The Routine Assembly in Pakistani Schools
• Recitation of The Holy Quran with English translation & explanation of few verses daily
• Naat-e- Rasool-e-Maqbool or Ahadees
• Flag hoisting ceremony with rendering of National Anthem
• Prayer of Allama Iqbal.(Lab pe Aati Hai) or school song /any patriotic song
• Morning presentation by classes according to roster
• Message/quotation/sentence/word of the day
• Back to the classes with class teachers.
Flag Hoisting & National Anthem

 A National Flag is a symbol of pride and Identification of a country.
• This is a sign of responsibility and encouragement towards the progress of our nation.
• The National flag is typically flown from daybreak to sunset. While being raised or lowered it must never touch the ground or be handled with indifference. The flag is raised in the morning, and lowered in the evening.
• During Flag hoisting everyone present should stand quietly with respect to face the flag .Students must be taught how to hold or fold the flag after the ceremonies. At all times, the flag should be flown at full staff, weather permitting.
• Unless you have all weather flag, designed for such purpose, flags should not be flown in rain or other conditions which might damage the flag. A flag that begins to show wear or becomes damaged should be removed and disposed off properly.
• The flag should not be flown at night unless it is on a properly illuminated pole.
Importance of the National Anthem
• To develop sense of patriotism in the students
• To develop a sense of respect for Pakistan’s flag and the manners to listen or render National Anthem.
• To develop a sense of pride to be a Pakistani.
• To give them awareness about Quaid’s message “Faith, Unity & Discipline”
Assembly Roster
• Prepare rosters according to academic terms or semesters and include …
• All classes and sections.
• All Subjects e.g. Urdu, Islamiyat, Library etc .must also be included in the roster.
• Assembly rosters should be circulated well in advance so that the teachers get ample time for planning and preparation
• It should be planned with a good rotation of students so that every child gets a turn
• Key to successful conduction of School Assembly
The importance of planning cannot be underestimated. Last minute thinking does not create meaningful assemblies.
• School Assembly should have educational value for students and must facilitate and enhance learning.
• Assemblies can be based on a yearly plan that incorporates monthly values and weekly themes. This plan is the subject of staff discussion and amendment because it is important that all staff feel comfortable with the proposed themes. This process gives a sense of ownership of both the process and content of the assemblies. (The Role of the School Assembly) Neil Hawkes)
Make the School Assembly engaging, enjoyable & effective by Creative Morning Presentations
• The content of the presentations must be both relevant and appropriate to the age and stage of the pupils. There should be Variety and creativity in the presentations to keep the audience involved.
• Involve the children in selecting themes and content for presentations .For this purpose, an idea or suggestion box can be place d in the school. All assemblies should be interesting, instructive and inspiring. The extent to which these three characteristics are incorporated in the programme largely determines their success
• Best speakers should be engaged for the assembly
• The principal and teachers are also expected to give occasional talk
• Presentations should be inspiring and interesting
• National issues ,problems and their measures can be presented by the speaker
• Activities of Parent –Teacher associations ,Child welfare club and Alumni can be reported in the assembly
• Assembly can be used as a platform to demonstrate class and club work
• Keep in mind the national, religious and social context of the school while planning the Assembly Programme.
• Assembly should be creative based on novel ideas .All ideas should be discussed with the Head Teacher before presentation.
Assemblies can be informative, fun, educational, motivational or a combination of all elements. Some Activities for Assemblies:
Role-play ,Quiz,Skits,Debate ,Project display and presentation ,Allocution ,Aerobics ,Puppet Show / Story Session ,News /current affairs ,Event Celebration, Honour Assembly, Guest Speakers(professionals from different fields ,.community members ,parents )
Role and responsibilities of a Head Teacher to run a successful assembly programme
Planning, guidance, support, evaluation, monitoring arrangement of resources e.g. equipment, guest speakers, assuring quality of presentations.
• School assemblies should revolve around events or achievements in different areas of education.
• Regardless of the purpose, school assemblies should provide all school students a sense of inclusion.
Objectives of the Daily or Weekly address by the Head Teacher
• To provide leadership and direction to staff and school
• To raise standards by pointing out the strengths and shortcomings
• To shape up the school community according to the desired parameters
• To share school improvement plans with students
• To share school vision and mission
• To review performance of students
• To motivate and guide
• To provide information
• To give messages on important cultural or national occasions
Cautions for Principals /Head Teachers
• Avoid unpleasant things in the Assembly
• Do not try to find the fault openly or to criticize student body
• Avoid making unnecessary announcements
• Never address without any reason
• Avoid unplanned address
Role and responsibilities of teachers towards effective school assembly
• Preparation and research, discussion with students, discipline, dress code, body language, facial expressions freedom of expression, giving ownership to students
Broadcasting Unit/Assembly Committee
Initially Head teacher or any other senior teacher can conduct the assembly but ideally students should be trained to handle the assembly without any on spot help from the teachers. A broadcasting unit or assembly committee must be formed under leadership of the Head teacher .An enthusiastic teacher able to check and guide students regarding appropriate vocabulary, phrases, pronunciation, grammar etc should be in charge of the committee.
The broadcasting committee should select and polish students to act as comperes and hosts of the assembly .Rehearsals may be conducted during break or afterschool .New students must be given chance on regular basis to be a part of the committee
Islamiyat and Urdu teachers can help for selection of Holy Verses according to occasion or event for recitation and translation. Sports /Physical Education teacher along with other subject teachers can help in maintaining the school discipline and checking of uniform and cleanliness (a morning duty roster can be prepared)

Seeme Laleka

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