Assemblies – one of the best parts of my job

The photo about was taken at ├×ingvellir in Iceland. It’s where the Mid Atlantic ridge cuts straight through the country.  Those are my feet as I’m trying to show that you can climb between the continental plates of Eurasia and North America.  Of course, the actual rift valley is around 7km wide, and the students I take are far more sensible with their own images:

Anyway, getting to the point.  ├×ingvellir is also the sight of the ‘first’ parliament of sorts (although it wasn’t democratic) as the Viking descendants met each year to share laws, settle disputes and get the women pregnant.  There may have been some horse trading too.  The place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The place is epic special and not far from this place, Regan and Gorbachev signed some Perestroika agreements. (see you’ve learned something, right?)

People coming together to celebrate and reinforce the ethos of a school is one of the most important events in a school.  At ours, we have live music, singing or dancing by the students and a short video news also produced by the students.  Each week, I stand there with goose bumps.  Each week I am reminded of the importance of what we do.  
And then it comes around to my assembly. It’s a powerful moment, up to 300 students and 10 or so tutors plus other staff. Four times.  It’s great.  They are the moments when I feel like I share myself. I thought I’d share my ramblings this week with you. The theme given is Lifelong Learning.
First, as we promote reading, I read this extract (I know that this assembly lacks female role models, but my last assembly covered that)


Next, I shared the fact that Chris Hadfield once has a dream:

Before showing this clip featuring Leo Holding and the team. Watch it and say you’re not impressed! I was lucky to meet Leo last week.

Then comes the important bit. To me, these two fine gentlemen are legends, but what they have in common is that they started young and made positive choices everyday.  So how do students do this? Well, the New Economic Foundation helps out – I know it’s in fashion and that.

When I turned my back on my son, he had roped up to a tree and started climbing.  I decided to connect with him during this activity – although climbing to the top of a holy tree isn’t the best idea ever!


If you haven’t come across and used the awesome Step Up Challenge in your school yet, get on it!


I was guiding in Iceland last week.  It was totally scary at the front of the coach whilst being totally sweet at the same time.  I noticed that the Icelandic driver was quiet, so we got chatting. Best stories ever.


What can you learn every day? Take part in a Micro Adventure. I dare you.


In Iceland last week I stayed at one of the best places ever run by the most amazing couple ever.  The bloke is Iceland’s Got Talent legend and I knew about the talking Raven.  So when I arrived, I asked after her. She had died that morning.  Seeing that this was upsetting, we allowed him to talk to our group and reminisce about the good times.  Sometimes listening and an open mind is all that’s needed.

The thing is, I believe that anything is possible by making the right choices.  I ended with a slide and a story. You haven’t done it YET.
And then I read this out. Makes my spine tingle each and every time.


What is your best memory of an assemblies?

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