We value the contribution that assemblies make to enriching pupils’ personal development.  When pupils convene as a year group, it creates a greater sense of community.  Coming together, once a week, to receive a themed assembly, allows pupils to explore their understanding and appreciation of the world (including spiritual, moral, cultural and social dimensions), aspects of their own personal development, safety and wellbeing, and the world of work. Much thought has been given to the themes and sequencing of our assembly programme.  We highlight specific national or international awareness days as well as seek to build upon learning that takes place within the classroom.  Sometimes, assemblies can be an excellent introductory platform for new concepts which pupils then gain greater levels of knowledge and understanding in, applying what they have learned in different contexts and subjects.

Please find below links to our assembly schedule for each half term.  If you would like to have a discussion about any topics, please feel free to make contact initially with your child’s form tutor who will then liaise with the relevant key stage Pastoral Leader or staff member delivering the assembly.

We encourage parents/carers to explore our assembly themes and unpick the focus Skills Builder skill as well as the spotlight character trait. Thank you in advance to all parents/carers for your support in the reinforcement of key messages shared.

Assembly and Form Time Overview

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Autumn Term 1

During this half term, we will reflect on the character virtue of courage. Our Skills Builder focus starts importantly with Listening. As part of promoting and developing courage, we will have our elections for School Council (democracy in action across all year groups) as well as voting for new House Captains in our hustings and appointing Head Pupils/Deputy Head Pupils. Pupils will learn more about the West Northumberland Food Bank and will be encouraged to donate to a collection for the local organisation. We will recognise ‘Hello Yellow Day’ for Young Minds, focus on road safety and hold our first Skills Builder Challenge of the year – a focus on Politics.

Character Virtue Focus: Courage

Skills Builder focus: Listening

Autumn Term 2

During this half term, we shift our attention to the character virtue of generosity and the Skills Builder focus of speaking.  Themes covered during assemblies and form time include the concept of volunteering, how to stay safe as we approach seasonal festivities, and explore the big question about what we really are as a species.  Our anti-bullying ambassadors will have the opportunity to update us and we will have the pleasure of listening to our House Captains on how volunteering can be complemented by courage and generosity. There are opportunities for debating during form time.

Character Virtue Focus: Generosity

Skills Builder focus: Speaking  

Spring Term 1

During this half term, we will reflect on the character virtue of justice. There are some references in our weekly awareness days such as Martin Luther King Junior Day and LGBTQ+IA Month that shine a spotlight on doing what we may think is the right thing to do.  Having returned from the Christmas holiday, as well as the winter solstice, we can now look forward to longer, brighter days ahead, and hopefully lots of high hopes for the future.  Our Skills Builder focus shifts aptly to Aiming High. Having now passed Epiphany, we will now start to reflect on what gifts and talents we are going to seek to develop in ourselves further; this is a crucial part of our personal development.

Character Virtue Focus: Justice

The focus on justice as one of positive moral traits helps us all to explore and build our own moral compass.  Some of our weekly assembly themes and Big Debate topics are associated with this character trait.

Skills Builder focus: Aiming High

Spring Term 2

During this half term, we consider the character trait of humility. Do we really know what the word means? During this time of year, in the Christian faith calendar, there is an opportunity to unpick what the story of Jesus and going into the ‘wilderness’ can reveal about the characteristic of humility. As a school, we are also about to engage with National Careers Week. This year, we will shine a spotlight on the contributions made by women in the workplace as well as growth in green technology and its impact on the North East economy. There are opportunities for debating during form time linked with assembly themes as well directed time to learn more about the universal skill of staying positive; as we have passed the half-way point in the academic year, and our year 6 pupils are approaching their SATs, we know that staying positive is an essential skill to develop.

Character virtue focus: Humility

Humility can be described as the ability to view yourself accurately as an individual with gifts and talents as well as having flaws.  Some people may not always acknowledge humility as a relevant positive moral trait to possess, but some people argue that it is – in fact – a remarkable character strength.

Skills Builder focus: Staying Positive

Staying positive in life is the ability to use tactics and strategies to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.  As a parent/carer, we actively encourage a partnership approach in supporting the personal development of their child.  The Skills Builder Homezone is a great resource, including different activities and tasks, that can be attempted at a pace and time that suits each family.

Summer Term 1

During this half term, we have a varied assembly programme and will have the opportunity to listen to different staff exploring themes, including the creative works of Shakespeare, refugees and asylum seekers, the current observance of Ramadam in the Islam faith, the under representation of Mary Seacole in our history, a broader look at protected characteristics (as outlined in the Equality Act, 2020), and the big issue of biodiversity. We will continue our focus on developing debating skills.

Character virtue focus: Integrity

Integrity is the fifth character value or positive moral trait that we will focus on this term.  Our assembly themes this half term build on this. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Next half term, we will explore honesty in more detail. We are very much looking forward to Mrs Scott’s assembly on ‘The integrity of borders’. 

Skills Builder focus: Creativity

This half term, we are very excited for our pupils to learn more about the essential and transferable skill of creativity. This skill is the complement to problem solving, and it relates to the ability to generate innovations or ideas which can then be honed through the problem-solving process. We believe strongly in our pupils being creative and adaptive, and we hope our pupils start to appreciate how this is an essential life skill valued by employers in the workplace.  As a beginner to learning more about the skill of creativity, we will focus on building confidence in our pupils to imagine and share ideas or solutions.  As pupils develop their understanding of creativity, they should then be able to demonstrate competency in making improvements. Creativity allows pupils to develop their ability to be curious and generate questions to explore more about real-life problems.  This skill will be very useful in our end-of-year Skills Builder Challenge Day which is themed ‘Creative Spaces’.

Creativity is the complement to Problem Solving and is about generating innovations or ideas which can then be honed through the problem-solving process.

Summer Term 2

During this half term, pupils come back from their summer half term holidays to reflect on the character virtue of honesty.  Fundamentally, this positive moral trait is something we hope to instill in all pupils at Hexham Middle. We know that, as human beings, we are fallible, and will undoubtedly fail at this at points in our lives.  We will look at the life of Alan Turing and how honesty played out in his life.  During this half term, we approach our second Skills Builder Challenge Day.  Over the year, we will have built knowledge of the different essential skills. We look forward to applying these in an exciting drop-down day event.  During some form times, we will prepare for this focus day.

Character virtue focus: Honesty

Skills Builder focus: Leadership