Every day when the bell rings the children assemble near the flagpole in the courtyard. The Principal leads the whole school in a brief morning greeting. On the first school day of the week the whole school sings the National Anthem. Parents can stay and participate to this point. A further assembly may take place in the school hall, with whole-school assemblies generally held on Mondays and either junior or senior assemblies on Fridays. The content varies and can include singing, discussions, scripture and story reading, a teaching by the Principal and occasionally a special guest speaker. On other days each week, various year groups combine for special assemblies and singing practice.
At least a couple of times every term, a whole-school open assembly is held and parents are invited to attend. Open assemblies are a celebration of the children’s work in progress and include individual and group presentations. Year groups may recite poems or stories they have written, perform recitations of literature, play recorder, or dance. Individuals may play a piece on their chosen instrument, the strings orchestra may perform, the cross country team representing Erasmus Primary School in District sport may receive a special commendation, and effort or competition awards may be presented. Senior students are involved as masters of ceremony and everyone benefits from learning how to be a supportive audience.
Celebrations are a rich component of Erasmus Primary School and include key events such as Christmas, Easter, Harmony Day and the Festival of Lights which all acknowledge the presence of Spirit in creation. The children prepare for these events as part of various subjects and broader co-curricular programmes. Celebrations provide a wonderful opportunity for the children to integrate many aspects of their learning by incorporating social skills and self-expression, a sense of ceremony, public speaking, singing, music, art, dance and drama. The children are able to build on their understanding and experience of belonging to a community – at home and at school, as Australians and as global citizens with diverse heritages.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.