Our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children were buzzing with excitement as we got the whole Pre-Prep together for a special Celebration Assembly for the first time this year.
In normal times, we would have a celebration assembly each week all together. So far this year, we have been restricted to getting together either in year groups or over Zoom.
Mrs Oglethorpe, Head of our Pre-Prep, led the assembly and told us: “It was just wonderful to feel and hear the children’s excitement at getting together, albeit outside and with spaces between year groups, and to be able to share the children’s news with the whole Pre-Prep.”
The initial part of the assembly is to celebrate ‘Work of the Week’ from two children in each class. The children are encouraged and rewarded for demonstrating High Performance Learning skills, values, attributes and attitudes – a powerful toolkit for how they approach learning.
One child was celebrated for working collaboratively to complete a task. Another child, who helped welcome and settle new children into their class with great maturity and kindness, was praised for their empathy, sense of community and concern for others.
Other pupils were celebrated for the way they have been thinking and learning in class, for example, by applying learning from one topic and applying it to the next, demonstrating linking skills; and by going back over their work and correcting it, demonstrating fantastic meta-thinking.
Mrs Oglethorpe commented: “Talking about Work of the Week really does help highlight important thinking and behaviour skills and a growth mind-set”.
The finale of the Celebration Assembly is where one child is invited to sign the Golden Book for following and being a great ‘Westbourne Way’ role model. The Westbourne Way is a strong moral code, originally devised by our children, that maps out the way our community wants to interact and grow together.
Mrs Oglethorpe explains: “It is a really special accolade and, after we have given the recipient a large round of applause, I ask the children ‘what do you want to say about [child’s name]. They reply with some fantastic feedback which makes the child feel very special indeed. They say things like:
‘Because she is kind’
‘He is so helpful’
‘She’s such a good friend’
‘Because he tells the truth’
‘He’s really funny’
‘She’s a great runner’
“I love the range in comments and the way they honestly reflect on their friend and celebrate all that is wonderful and positive.”