Posted in School

School Assembly

One of the things being very different at schools in Australia is the weekly assembly. Every week all the children from school gather in the gymnasium. There are some things that stand out for me at assembly.

What is a school assembly?

The definition that I found is that an assembly is a gathering of all or part of a school in order to communicate information and share learning experiences.

What is it like in reality? At Essex Heights this means that every Monday all the 500+ students gather in the assembly room and sit on the floor. The principal talks to all the students and brings in the school values: friendliness, respect, honesty, persistence and inclusiveness.

Singing the national anthem and the school song are also part of the assembly.

The children are sitting on the floor listening and participating.
The children are sitting on the floor listening and participating.


Music is an important feature of Essex Heights. At assembly a class (usually the whole grade) gets a chance to perform. This week it was class 3/4’s turn. They sung John Denvers “country roads”. Pretty impressive! Ok I might be a bit biased, but listen and judge for yourself:

Student of the week

About 15 students are being called out for a student of the week award. Which they receive for a special achievement. I figure that every one will be student of the week at one point or another. Through Dutch eyes, where being equal is the norm, this is a bit unusual and awkward. Also some of the reasons why students become student of the week (for being friendly to the driver) sound a bit unusual. I guess we need to see it as another way the school values are carried out.

Luka's class won 'Art class of the week'. There are many awards, so every class will get the reward at some point.
Next to the student of the week there are also other awards given out. This week Luka’s class won ‘Art class of the week’. There are many awards, so every class will get the reward at some point.


The assembly is closed off with a raffle. I had already read that Australians just love to gamble. I guess for kids this translates into a raffle. There are two chickens on the school ground. Their eggs are given out as prices every week. All the family names are put into a big hat and depending on the number of eggs that the chicken laid that week you get two or three lucky families.

I find all the differences intruiging. Having to let go of the instinct to find what you are used to the better way. There are so many more ways to learn than the system you have grown up in.


Mother, wife, explorer and loving the outdoors. We recently moved to Australia, so lots to explore here. We are keeping a blog about our experiences of moving and living on a different continent as a family.

8 thoughts on “School Assembly

  1. Kippevel….wat goed zeg! Daar zou het Nederlandse onderwijs nog iets van kunnen leren. Het samen doen is zo belangrijk! Heb jij dat gefilmd? Bij de musical op de lagere school mocht niet gefilmd worden, er werd een film van de musicaluitvoering gemaakt en die kon je dan kopen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ja, bizar goed hè. Dit is hier niet eens iets heel speciaals, dit gebeurd vrijwel iedere week. Ik vind het ongelofelijk hoe je dit met zoveel 9-10 jarigen voor elkaar krijgt.

      Aan de shaky opname kun je zien dat ik dit zelf gefilmd heb.


    1. No, this is definately not normal everywhere. It is all part of the Australian and English speaking culture. A very special thing! Weird isn’t it? That your normal is not so normal to everyone. That is what I find the most fascinating about cultural differences!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ja, gute Schule kann auch ganz anders funktionieren als wir es gewohnt sind. Aber, gab es denn in Deiner Schule in Kalifornien nicht auch so etwas wie den Schüler des Monats? An Patricks Schule in Indiana war eine große Leuchtschrift mit dem student of the week. Warum er/sie denn nun ausgezeichnet wurde, weiß ich allerdings nicht. Dennoch: gute social skills sind auch eine wichtige Sache, nicht nur Science, etc.
    Nach meinem Eindruck machen die dort recht gute Schule. Aber eine Frage: Gibt es die Eltern auch, werden die eingebunden in Schulaktivitäten? Auf dem Film sieht man einige Erwachsene, auch solche, die filmen. Sind das Eltern oder Lehrer(innen)?
    Bleib noch etwas intriguing und erzähl davon. Das interessiert doch uns Lehrer sehr.

    Liebe Gruße H.-W. und M.-D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eine sehr gute Frage! Über Eltern in Schulaktivitäten gibt es auch sehr viel ünterschiede mit das was wir so gewöhnt sind. Die werden auch in die normale Aktivitäten eingesetzt. Ich bin da aber noch am entdecken und werde sicher noch mehr davon berichten.

      Die Erwachsene die man sieht sind sowohl Eltern als auch Lehrer. Die die filmen sind hauptsachlich die Eltern. Die ‘assembly’s’ sind immer offen für alle Eltern. Ganz viele sieht man aber nicht.


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