Twenty-First Century School Assembly and Classroom Activities

Overview

For young people growing up in the twenty-first century life can seem very complex, with many issues to worry about – such as global warming, depleted natural resources and living together harmoniously in rapidly changing communities. The generation of children currently passing through our schools will have to resolve these issues for us. This will be achieved partly through the skills and the intelligence they gather and partly through the development of a spiritual intelligence that will enable them to become ...

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Overview

For young people growing up in the twenty-first century life can seem very complex, with many issues to worry about – such as global warming, depleted natural resources and living together harmoniously in rapidly changing communities. The generation of children currently passing through our schools will have to resolve these issues for us. This will be achieved partly through the skills and the intelligence they gather and partly through the development of a spiritual intelligence that will enable them to become good citizens and do the right things at the right time – which is the focus of this unique book. It also recognises the pressures school leaders and teachers are under.
The materials for each theme are presented in each of these three ways:

Three Star Assembly Help! I have only ten minutes in which to plan a good assembly or classroom activity
Four Star Assembly I have lots of extra time to plan or collect resources or involve the children
Five Star Assembly Ofsted are coming! I want to plan the assembly of all assemblies, the lesson of all lessons

This book is aimed at key stages two and three, ages 7–14. It contains beautiful and thought-provoking colour photographs throughout, which are also included on a free accompanying CD.

This is a ‘must have’ for all of us who lead school assemblies and want to engage pupils with relevant world issues that will touch their hearts and open their minds.
Dr. Neil Hawkes, International Consultant and Trainer in Values-based Education (VbE)

A life-saver for those times when you need an assembly that will really impress!
James Bowen, Head Teacher, Mill Rythe Junior School

This book gives teachers the chance to use assemblies to bring awe, wonder and spirituality into school.
Bill Lord, Head Teacher, Long Sutton Community Primary School, former National Strategies Literacy Advisor

Offers teachers and schools a wealth and breadth of thought-provoking opportunities for reflection.
Sr Jude Groden RSM, Primary R.E. Adviser,Diocese of Brentwood

Challenging and thought-provoking subject matter, coupled with incredible photography, ensure that both child and practitioner are hooked.
Karen Bister, Deputy Head Teacher, Woodthorpe Primary

The excellent quality of the pictures sets the emotive backcloth for relevant thought and reflection.
Shane Jarman, Head Teacher, Denaby Main Primary School

Will Ryan has worked in schools in Rotherham, South Yorkshire for over thirty years as a Teacher, Head Teacher and Local Authority Adviser. As a head teacher he led a school that prized itself on genuine pupil creativity and was described by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’. He is a speaker and Associate of Independent Thinking.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is aimed at key stages two and three, ages 7–14. It contains beautiful and thought-provoking colour photographs throughout, which are also included on a free accompanying CD.
This is a ‘must have’ for all of us who lead school assemblies and want to engage pupils with relevant world issues that will touch their hearts and open their minds.
Dr. Neil Hawkes, International Consultant and Trainer in Values-based Education (VbE)

A life-saver for those times when you need an assembly that will really impress!
James Bowen, Head Teacher, Mill Rythe Junior School

This book gives teachers the chance to use assemblies to bring awe, wonder and spirituality into school .
Bill Lord, Head Teacher, Long Sutton Community Primary School, former National Strategies Literacy Advisor

Offers teachers and schools a wealth and breadth of thought-provoking opportunities for reflection.
Sr Jude Groden RSM, Primary R.E. Adviser, Diocese of Brentwood

Challenging and thought-provoking subject matter, coupled with incredible photography, ensure that both child and practitioner are hooked.
Karen Bister, Deputy Head Teacher, Woodthorpe Primary

The excellent quality of the pictures sets the emotive backcloth for relevant thought and reflection.
Shane Jarman, Head Teacher, Denaby Main Primary School

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781781350072
  • Publisher: Crown House Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/17/2014
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 11.03 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author


Will Ryan has worked in schools in Rotherham, South Yorkshire for over thirty years as a teacher, head teacher and Local Authority Adviser. As a head teacher he led a school that prized itself on genuine pupil creativity and was described by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’. He is a speaker and Associate of Independent Thinking.
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Read an Excerpt


Introduction
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future.
The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
Eric Hoffer

I remember it like yesterday. It was my first ever interview for a deputy headship and I braced myself for the first question. It certainly wasn’t what I expected: ‘A hymn, a prayer and a telling off – is this an accurate description of a school assembly?’ I can’t remember how I answered but it certainly made me think, and over thirty years later I am still thinking
about it.

If a school assembly lasts twenty minutes then a child spends 63 hours a year in assembly and that equates to over ten school days of six hours each. This means that during their primary school years a child will spend 443 hours or 70 days in assembly and possibly a further 316 hours or 52 days during the secondary years. This can be either time that is simply lost and forgotten or hours that can be used to make a difference – to create confident individuals and responsible, deep-thinking citizens for the future.

Growing up in the twenty-first century can seem very complex and there are many things that seriously worry young people – global warming, depleted natural resources and how we can all live together harmoniously in a rapidly changing world. The generation of children currently passing through our schools will be the ones to resolve these issues for us. This will be achieved partly through the skills and knowledge they gather and partly through the development of an emotional and spiritual intelligence that will enable them to become good citizens who do the right things at the right time. This is what I have aimed to do in this book. The materials are aimed predominantly at school leaders
and teachers in Key Stages 2 and 3 (ages 7–14). The photographs and activities suggested can be used to enhance learning in classrooms.

Eric Hoffer’s comment speaks of a time of ‘drastic change’, and the twenty-first century has already brought considerable change with certainly
more to come. Therefore, the premise behind this book is that more than ever children need to be equipped to think deeply and make appropriate choices about what is right and wrong, good and evil, beautiful and ugly.

Many of the assemblies build from ideas in my previous book, Inspirational
Teachers Inspirational Learners (2011). In turn, I hope the suggestions equip you to lead inspirational assemblies that pass the three generations test: the children remember them in the short term; they still remember them when they become parents; and finally they are able to tell their grandchildren about them.
The book is laid out in two parts:
¦¦ Part I: Our World in the Twenty-First Century aims to help children to become responsible global citizens who will help to change the world for the better.
¦¦ Part II: Creating Responsible Citizens in Our Schools and Communities aims to promote a sense of aspiration and ambition within learners and also provide ideas for how they can make a positive difference to the school and the locality.

The book also recognizes the pressures school leaders and teachers are
under. Therefore the materials for each theme are presented in three
ways:
¦¦ Three Star Assemblies : These are for those moments when you think: ‘Help, I’ve hardly any time to plan an assembly!’ For these assemblies, you can simply pick up the book and read the story or account and follow the activities planned.
¦¦ Four Star Assemblies : These are for the occasions when you’ve got a bit longer to prepare. They might involve groups of children, music or film footage. Many of the themes and resources provided open up opportunities for Philosophy for Children activities in the classroom. Sometimes these could be
highly worthwhile learning activities that may not be incorporated into an assembly. On other occasions the children’s thinking can enhance the assemblies. Sometimes the materials could lead to a follow-up assembly (which means that many of the assemblies develop into two assemblies).
¦¦ Five Star Assemblies : These are for the occasions when you need the ‘Rolls Royce’ model of deep, rich and meaningful assemblies. Perhaps it is because Ofsted are about to arrive. Again there are suggestions for how you can involve the children as described in the section above. On some occasions the Five Star Assembly can become a further follow-up assembly, and so on these occasions each assembly grows into three assemblies!

One of the concepts I have become increasingly interested in over recent
years is the power of the six word story. Many of the world’s largest and
most successful businesses use six word stories as an advertising technique.
Here are a couple of examples: ‘Engineered to move the human spirit’ (Mercedes Benz)’ and ‘We’re number two. We try harder’ (Avis Rent a Car).

Six words are deemed to be the smallest number of words you can use to write a complete story. Some of the assemblies and activities urge the children to use six really powerful words to describe an image or capture part of the assembly. The six word story can also be a brilliant method of introducing reflection at the end of the assembly.

Many of the assemblies are designed to incorporate a Team of Experts model. Often when you view a live factual programme on television you see a research team in the background working away on computers providing up-to-the-minute information. This approach is built into many of the assemblies. All you need to do is create a team of four or five experts who set out to find additional information relating to the assembly whilst it is taking place. This ethodology increases pupil participation and also demonstrates the speed at which we can gain information, adding to the twenty-first century feel of the assembly. However, the group may need the guidance of an adult until it becomes
an accepted part of the routine.

It should be stressed that the contents of this book and Jane Hewitt’s stunning images on CD Rom are designed for wide useage. They have not just been produced with the school assembly in mind. The stories, articles and pictures can be used in a variety of ways by the teacher in his or her own classroom. As suggested, they can promote deep and rich activities within ‘Philosophy for Children’ or promote an area of research for a small group of pupils. This in turn could lead to high quality writing opportunities across a range of genres. Equally the ideas promoted could be used to introduce a class or group to those projects which have the big emotional hook, such as:
¦¦ Is slavery confined to the past?
¦¦ How can we live harmoniously in rapidly changing communities?
¦¦ Why should we recycle?
¦¦ Who are the real super heroes who have changed our community, or changed our country or changed our world?

Eric Hoffer is correct to tell us that we live in a time of drastic change.
I hope that this book does help to create learners who inherit the future
and help to make the world a better place, but I also hope that you enjoy
exploring the themes with the children and young people in your care.

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Table of Contents

Contents
Part I: Our World in the Twenty-First Century
1. The Bitter Taste of Chocolate
2. From Sweatshop to High Street Shop
3. Without the Man on the Plantation, the Man from the Supermarket Would Live in Poverty; With the Man from the Supermarket, the Man on the Plantation Lives in Poverty
4. How Many People Can One Cigarette Damage?
5. Life in the Sixties … the 2060s
6. One in Seven Billion: What Promise Would You Make to 6,999,999,999 People?
7. ‘There’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear’
8. The Multi Million Dollar Red Nose
9. Can Sportsmen Succeed Where Politicians Fail? .
10. The Boys Go To School and the Girls Collect Water
11. What Makes a Great Leader?
12. ‘Never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another’ .
13. How Did We Get the First African-American President of the
United States?
14. The Nobel Peace Prize
15. I Can Either Do Nothing or I Can Do Something:The Birth of the Red Cross
16. What Happens If Sea Levels Rise?
17. The USA and the Kyoto Protocol
18. What Can the World Learn from the Poppy Fields of Flanders?
19. ‘Big Issue, Sir’: A Hand Up and Not a Handout .
20. Buy One Get One Free: Is It a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?
21. Our Wheelie Bin is Full of Energy Today; or Let’s be Smelly
and Watch 500 Hours of Television
22. 666 Reservoirs and Rising
23. Not In My Back Yard: The Story of a Wind Farm Nimby
24. Is it Fair Play for Footballers to Cheat?
25. An Olympic Legacy
26. First Amongst Unequals: England’s First Black Footballer
27. An Englishman’s Home May Be His Castle, but It Isn’t Very English
28. Someone Who Thinks the World is Always Cheating Him is Right: Choose Your Attitude
29. And Today’s Lesson Comes from the Arctic Monkeys
PART II: Creating Responsible Citizens in Our Schools and Communities
30. The Mathematics of the Widow’s Mite
31. Calculating the Value of a Single Egg and the Wisdom of Solomon
32. Honesty Always Pays
33. How Words Can Cause Damage
34. Wealth Does Not Make You a Rich Person
35. A Story from the Buddha’s Early Life
36. But I Thought My Son Was Dead: The Story of a Modern-Day Prodigal Son
37. Let Nobody Steal Your Dreams (Especially Teachers!) .......... 187
38. The Circle of Life: Where Will I Go?
39. The Parable of the Good Hoodies
40. Can Starfish Children Make a Difference?
41. A Real Friend Walks In When the Rest of the World Walks Out
42. Caring in a Community
43. Cyberbullying
44. Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

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