Standing Assemblies
WHAT'S IN A NAME? WELCOMING NEW CHILDREN

By Gill O'Neill


Suitable for KS2


Aims

To get to know new children. To encourage the new intake to introduce themselves to a senior member of staff at the beginning of the year. This assembly can be adapted for use at any time when new children join a class.


Preparation and materials
  • Find a first name that is shared by several children in the school, and also a common surname. If possible one child should have both the first name and the surname.

Assembly
  1. Start the assembly by welcoming all the new children to the school. Point out that there may be new children, not just in Year 3 but some who may have transferred into other year groups because they have moved into the area, etc.

  2. Ask the new children if they have learnt the names of all the children in their class yet. Now ask all the children if any of them have found that the teachers haven't yet worked out who they are. Ask if anyone has been called by the wrong name. Point out that this can sometimes be funny, and sometimes a bit annoying.

  3. Share with the children a brief anecdote from your own childhood, illustrating the anxiety of a new school. Ask if anyone was feeling anxious about the new term, their new teachers or new classes. Explain that often the teachers are also feeling anxious about their new classes as well.

  4. Depending on how well you know the children in the school, tell them that although you know quite a lot of their names it will take you some time to get to know the names of all the new children.

  5. Tell the children that everyone's name is special to them - even though it may not be unique. Ask them to put up a hand if they have your chosen first name. Ask them to put up a hand if they have your chosen surname. Then ask if there is anyone who has both the chosen first name, and the chosen surname. This should illustrate that although they may not have unique first names, it is very unusual for more than one child to have the same first name and surname.

  6. Ask if anyone knows why their parents gave them their name, and then tell the children why you were given your name. If they don't know why they have that name, encourage them to find out by asking a parent. You might encourage them to come and tell you when they have found this out.

  7. Tell the children that over the next few weeks you'd like to get to know as many names as possible. Each of them is special, and you are looking forward to finding out what is special about each of them.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
You know each and every one of us.
Thank you that we are all special.
We are all individuals.
Help us to appreciate each other and treat each other with respect.
Amen.

Song

'God knows me' (Come and Praise, 15)


 

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