I have written about the return of assemblies over the past couple of weeks and it’s been great for them to take place during this week. It has been brilliant for each Head of Year and myself to be able to talk with the collective body face-to-face – there is nothing like it to share a moment and a message.

Assemblies this week have been about praise – and praise for all. They have been a chance to say well done for their approach to remote learning, well done for adapting and adopting routines and procedures so effectively this year and well done for being so positive, resilient and simply themselves each and every day in school.

In the weeks to come there will be different themes in assemblies. We are going to talk with students about feeling that they can talk with someone in school if they have a concern or worry. This will be about friends but also about adults. It may be the form tutor, a class teacher or a member of the associate staff but it is important that each and every one of our young people feels that he or she can speak with an adult when they have a concern or a worry, something to celebrate or mark or something which may feel insignificant but that they need to share. This is about safeguarding but is also about strong relationships and these are valued highly within our school community. A part of this will also be about diversity and recognising, understanding and celebrating difference within our school community and beyond. 

We are also going to talk with our students about being role models. This might be in “official” roles in school such as Student Leaders and School Prefects or it may be as peer mentors and representatives or it could be just being themselves. Being a role model is important; there are many benefits but we must also “get it right”. This could be in school or in the local community where we always want people to see the very best of our young people.

Assemblies are a chance to reflect and consider, to be informed and to listen and we celebrate their return for these reasons; we will also be asking our students what they like about assemblies and providing more opportunities for them to lead them as normality returns. All of this is about what is distinctive and special about our school community.