A whole school assembly can be a great place to get attention and share your messages. It is important that you try to be original and do things a little differently.
Below are a few ideas our Ambassadors have used when presenting at assemblies in their Primary Schools. These are not original ideas, they have been used by schools around the world but they can easily be adapted so they connect with your school.
Set up a table with a masking tape line running across it (at least 2-3m long) where everyone can easily see it. Ask for a volunteer to come to the front and squeeze a tube of toothpaste along the tape to see how far they can get. Ask the volunteer to describe whether that was easy or hard. Then ask the volunteer to put the toothpaste back in the tube. Offer them a range of tools (toothpick, spoon, straw etc) to help them. After giving it a good try, ask the volunteer to describe whether that was easy or hard. Explain that it is impossible to get the toothpaste back in the tube.
Thank the volunteer and ask them to sit down and then explain that the toothpaste is like the words we say. Sometimes they come out easily or all in a rush and they can be hurtful, mean or make someone feel like they don’t matter. Saying sorry is like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. It doesn’t take them away, the hurt they cause is still there, like the toothpaste.
Ask the students to talk to the person beside them about what the toothpaste activity teaches them about the impact of their words. Have some volunteers share their ideas back.
This can be done in assembly with a large piece. of paper or students could do it individually.
In an assembly, have a large piece of chart paper with an outline of a person drawn on it. Try to use a stand if you can to clip it on to make it easy to see. Explain that the drawing is Wanda and she was a happy and confident girl but kids in her class have been bullying her. They call her names and make mean comments about how she looks, what she wears and how she acts. Ask the students o share ideas of mean things they have heard that Wanda may be hearing. Write these on the outline. Choose 6-8 examples. e.g You’re a loser, no-one likes you, we don’t want you to be in our group etc.
Take the paper down and explain that Wanda feels like she doesn’t matter. Crumple it up. Then ask for ideas of what we could do to change how Wanda is feeling. As the ideas come in, repeat them and slowly uncrumple Wanda. When you have had 4-6 ideas, e.g, Say sorry, help her, sit with her, tell someone what is happening etc. Then clip the uncrumpled drawing back up so everyone can see and ask ‘We have tried to make Wanda feel better but what do you notice?”. Explain that someone who is targeted feels crumpled. It can destroy how they feel about themselves and stop them feeling happy or confident. We cannot smooth away those wrinkles but we can stop it from happening again and we can help Wanda know that she matters and people care about her.
Ask the students to think of how they could stop other children from getting ‘wrinkled’