Primary school assemblies move online
Engage has moved its assembly presentations online, being unable to visit primary schools in person during Covid-19 restrictions. Sally Lynch explains why she loves volunteering and what’s involved.
I’ve loved being one of the school assembly team right from the time I joined the team in 2002,when Engage was known as SCAT. It’s exciting now we’re moving online, and easier for us because we can record our solo parts whenever we have a spare half-hour, and send them on to be joined together.
I can honestly say doing Engage school assemblies is the best thing I’ve ever done – who doesn’t love a stage! I’ve worked with three former full-time primary school workers and many amazing volunteers. I’ve been honoured to have visited on average 8000 children, three times a year, every year since I started.
There are many reasons why I love it: the children’s faces when they see us come to their school, because they love it too; the fun we have as an ever-changing team (we laugh a lot!) and the way the scripts are never the same by the time we reach the end of an assembly run because we’ve added so many ad-libs!
Best of all for me is that I’m leaving a little bit of Jesus in the hearts of each and every child and teacher every time they hear our stories.
There are grown-ups remember the assemblies we did for them when they were at school. Who knows when they might need to remember that Jesus loves them?
Now we’ve gone online I have the honour of creating the online assemblies and leading the team of volunteers. And it’s amazing! Our people live in different parts of the country. We meet up on Zoom, divide out the parts, film our lines and send them into our techie lady, without leaving home: no weeks of rehearsals and being up early to get to schools on time. Parts can be filmed wherever and whenever we want to fit in with our everyday lives. And because of how it works there’s always room for more volunteers. How about you joining us?
If you’d like to be part of this new exciting season and join the digital assembly team, whether acting or using tech skills please email Shelley: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondary Schools and Woking College
It has often been difficult to go into all the secondary schools we would normally support. However, we are still going into Woking College with the support of Tom Garner from New Life Church and Dave Doran from St Mary of Bethany. Here we are running a weekly Christian Union which is well received and giving students extra support through these uncertain times.
This term Engage started offering mentoring to students at Woking High School. Shelley Blunden visits weekly with Pete Allen from Christ Church Woking. Shelley works closely with the Pastoral Leads for each year group to offer a listening ear and support to students who are referred. Asked how he thought the mentoring was going, Mr Crowley, who they are.
Assistant Head Teacher, said: “I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Engage for the support you have been offering in school this half term. It is a key part of our wider pastoral system and is valued by both the students and our staff. Feedback from the students and staff involved is always positive and I know if makes a difference. Having looked at your case load as a whole I can see that attendance for those students has stayed stable and improved in most cases.”
The sessions are our way to reflect the love and compassion shown to us through our Lord and Saviour. Sometimes a student asks: “Miss, what do you hold on to for strength?” – so we sow a seed and share the love of Christ.
The assembly team as they put together the Christmas digital assembly.
The mentoring at Woking High and that this will be a time where the children can feel peace and know.
The weekly staff prayer meeting at Woking College.
The youth workers as we work together to come up with plans to support Hoe Valley.
The Christian Union at Woking College and that new and old students find it a place of fellowship and peace.
Perhaps you could become a Trustee of Engage and help shape the future of our work.
Maybe you have a heart for taking the Christian message into secondary schools or Woking College and would like to join the Engage team in running Christian Union meetings.
There are endless possibilities –just some mentioned here! Whatever your skills and gifting and the amount of time you have available, we would love to hear as we plan for the challenges of the academic year ahead!
For further information or for a chat please contact our Schools Worker Shelley Blunden on 01483 901891 or email email@example.com.