school assembly


Senior Member
France, french
Hi everybody!
still working on my UK modern society course (here the lesson deals with the education and socialization process), and the lesson just evoked "school assemblies". At first I thought it referred to gatherings inside the school for specific and determined occasions but then to be sure I tried to google it and search it on wikipedia also, and all I seemed to find were names of schools... So that now I wonder if it actually means some sort of schools rather than just special occasions?... (don't know if I make myself clear :eek:)
Anyway, here's the context for the sentence, and if anybody can tell me what it really refers to, that'd be so great!

The socialization process has to create a consensus around key values and so helps to achieve social order and stability as individuals come to feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. Rituals play a major part in reinforcing values ; for instance: school assemblies may involve rituals in which national patriotism is expressed as is the case in America.

Thanks ^^
  • Your first guess was correct. A school assembly is where the whole school (or section of it) is gathered together, often in the auditorium or gymnasium to listen to a speaker or watch a play, presentation, etc. (These can be produced by students at the school or by visitors.) At our school we had weekly assemblies where information about the week ahead was presented.
    As Gutenberg has pointed out, there may be more than one meaning of school assembly.

    In the UK however, the main meaning is a daily gathering of the school community, or as much as can be gathered in one place. The sort of school assembly described by aultako is quite common, but would be breaking the law in a state school. Since 1994 the law says the assembly, in state schools, should include an "act of collective worship".

    All maintained schools must provide … daily collective worship … [which] must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character…
    This law was, and is, controversial and unpopular with many teachers. There is plenty of evidence that not all schools adhere to the law. You can see the connection with the "rituals" and "values" idea in the text you quoted.

    This is a Christian site set up to help head teachers and teachers deal with the reality of trying to apply this law.
    Assemblies and the law from the assemblies website. It should give you an idea of what happens in a school assembly in schools of different types.

    We need a translation into French for this forum, and I suspect that the religious angle would make it difficult to get a simple one.
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    Thanks a lot for these informations!
    I had never heard of that UK law before and found it quite surprising (such a striking contrast with France or with the 1962 US legislation!). I wouldn't have guessed and am very glad I asked! :)
    I teach in a school in Ireland, and we have weekely assemblies based on year groups. Then every so often there will be a 'whole-school assembly' or an assembly for a spcific group. As already said, the purpose is usually to give info about the week/s ahead, etc, but it's also good for students to get together & identify with otheres in the same school