Don’t Stop Believing

Fyling Hall‘s assembly programme has two main goals: to communicate relevant ideas to our students and for them to learn how to communicate relevant ideas to each other and others audience in the future. One of the main ways of doling this is by having a variety of presentation styles for them to see.

Monday is always a whole-school assembly. It may be a humours or serious presentation on some aspect of our termly theme, current affairs or topics related to philosophy, learning or life-skills led my me, our headmaster, one or more of our teachers or a guest speaker.

Last year we started introducing novel formats including a very successful one to allow the students to get to know the human side of some of their teachers: Desert Island Discs. The structure is exactly the same as the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme where the guest uses their own choices of pieces of music to tell the story of different stages of their personal or professional life. I’ve interviewed seven guests in this way so far. What this method shows is a relaxed and personal way of presenting from a platform. It’s another way to move to convincing our students that they have nothing to fear from speaking in public. The results of the show have been moving, funny, exciting and quite interesting. 

The latest episode featured one of our newest members of staff, English teacher, Mrs Milner. She chose five popular tunes as usual, but unusually jumped to her feet and got the audience singing, clapping and dancing along as she told the story of an aspect of her teaching career. 

Her choices were:  Guns ‘n’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine, Mr C. the Slide Man Cha Cha Slide, Michael Jackson Thriller, DJ Khaled All I Do Is Win feat. Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain & Snoop Dogg and finally Journey Don’t Stop Believin’.

Motivation is about showing how to do it, it’s about clearing the way ahead and setting off on that first step so others know how to follow. I believe these presentations give our students not only an insight into the staff that they may only know from their lessons, but an insight into themselves and how things can be done, how they can be done differently, how they can be done better.

I think our assembly programme is working. I’ve had two students come me this week asking if they can lead an assembly on their own, to communicate their ideas on what they believe is important. To do that they must have crossed many a bridge of self doubt and fear. That’s the journey we want for as many of our cohort as possible, so they never, ever, stop believing in themselves and what they can do. 

By Ayd Instone, Head of Enrichment and Extra-Curricular