Assemblies are a time for exploring new perspectives | Portsmouth High School

Assemblies are a time for exploring new perspectives

Assemblies are an important part of our week here at Portsmouth High Prep School.

It is a time to get the whole school together as a community and explore different topics. The approach is a mixture of formality and a more relaxed approach which mirrors that of the school in general. The girls stand as I enter the room and we all share the traditional greeting and song to begin the day.

Our assemblies, excluding celebration assembly, are short and sharp concentrating on one message. This is a good way of keeping the whole group engaged and I have become adept over the years at realising when I have spoken too long. A Pre-School child will not be embarrassed to let out a long, audible yawn if they have started to lose concentration on what is being said.

The subjects discussed during assembly time are a key part of reinforcing our ethos and addressing issues that are pertinent to the girls. I try to make them thought provoking and give the opportunity for debate and contemplation. There is a large emphasis on asking questions and listening to answers from girls of all ages. Reception girls get just as much time given to their responses as do girls in Year 6. Recent topics have included the journey through school, building up others, trying something new and a stripes and zigzags anti-bullying story.

We also have a variety of different speakers coming in to talk to the girls. Many of them will remember our University of Southampton palaeontologist and the representative from Guide Dogs for the Blind with her canine leading the way. It is these people who add context and variety to our programme and allow the girls to hear a different perspective.