Time For Assembly

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Below are some ideas for the organisation of school assemblies.

The ideas cover:
  • Format
  • Whole School Celebrations
  • Class Assemblies
  • Key Stage Assemblies
  • Staff Attendance
  • Visitors
You can also submit your own ideas via

This site was formerly known as
'School Assemblies for Busy Teachers'.


When the whole school is assembled, this seems a good time to give out notices and to remind the children about behaviour.
This can detract from the main reason for assembling however.
At least once a week, a school assembly could be just collective worship. Another way could be found of giving messages, although this can be difficult to organise in a large school.
Your country's regulations about daily worship/assembly should be followed.


  • Whole school services/Masses for the beginning and end of year and for festivals.
  • Assemblies to conclude an R. E. topic studied by the children. If every class is working on a similar theme from a scheme, this is a good way for children to share their thoughts and what they have learned. Only two or three children from each class would be involved, but it is an effective way of seeing progression in the children's understanding.
  • Termly Achievement Assemblies to celebrate successes of individual pupils, such as: examination success, acquisition of new skills, helping others, bravery etc.
  • Weekly Birthday Assemblies for key stage 1, where younger children have a chance to show some of their presents and cards and express wonder in the whole process of growing up and becoming more independent.
  • Weekly House Assemblies. If your school has a House system, one assembly a week, maybe on Friday, can be used to inform the children of the progress of each House in the housepoint stakes. Children enjoy hearing these results.
  • Merit Assemblies. Once a week, maybe during the House assembly, a merit badge can be presented to one child from each class. These can be awarded for academic success, effort, good progress, social skills etc.


  • Classes can lead whole school assemblies once a week. The amount of teacher input and guidance required depends on the age of the children involved. The teacher may have to write a script (or use one of the many on this site) or just suggest an idea for the children to interpret. Children can act out a story from a sacred book, or even one of Aesop's fables or a fairy story for example. A message relevant to the children could be emphasised, followed by an appropriate prayer, short reading and hymn. This sort of assembly works well across different age groups. The older children like to watch their younger brothers and sisters and are usually very appreciative of and impressed by the efforts of the younger children. With a weekly rota, most classes would have the opportunity of producing an assembly once a term.
  • Children can hold small assemblies, in their own classroom, just for their own class. Less teacher input is required here, as the children are in front of their friends and do not feel so nervous. The assembly can also be shorter, maybe a short story and a prayer, accompanied by some background music and a candle. The class can be asked to say what they think the message is. An advantage of this is that children feel more at ease in their own classroom and can practise speaking in front of an audience - a skill which some children lose as they get older. With a once a week rota and two children doing each classroom assembly, the whole class would have a turn within about one term.


As well as whole school assemblies, separate key stage assemblies can be keld. (In the UK, children are divided into 5 age groups, called key stages, with 2, 3, or 4 years in each key stage.)
The advantage of this, both with primary and secondary age children, is that the content of the assembly can be more directly aimed at the majority of the children present.
It also gives teachers an opportunity to practise taking assemblies. Taking a key stage assembly may be nerve-racking, but it is less daunting than taking a whole school assembly.


Children like to see their teachers and helpers present in school assemblies.
If at all possible, school managers should try to give teachers free time at other times in the week, so that staff can be present at assemblies.
If staff are absent from an assembly, this can give a negative message to the children about the value, importance and purpose of school assemblies.


There are individuals and groups who are very happy to visit your school to take an assembly. Some may not want payment.
These people often send information about themselves to schools. If not, try asking at your local place of worship. They may know of such people, or may know, for example, of a visiting clergyman or missionary in the area who would like to speak about his work to children.
Of course, your own local clergyman can be invited to speak to the children from time to time, maybe once a term. He might be quite happy to choose his own topic, or may welcome some guidance on this from the teachers.
If your school takes in children from a number of parishes, all the clergymen can be invited in at the same time, to speak to the children from their own parishes, rather than speaking to the whole school.
This takes some organising, but is pssible. It helps to foster the home/school/parish relationship. The children appreciate seeing their priest/vicar on their own ground for a change.

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 25-9-20