A new challenge
Through Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource, I’ve been invited to lead a 20 minute school assembly, followed by a 40 minute class. I’ve done school assemblies before (though not often), but this one will be a first because it’ll be in a primary school. It’s not a church primary school – that would be unusual – but a county primary school. I’ll be talking to children from years 1 to 5, that’s from 5 to 11 years of age.
Until now, the youngest children I’ve been allowed to talk to were in a county middle school, aged 12. I shared a session with an evangelical Christian who told them, among other things, that death is a punishment for sin. If I’d been the parent of a child at that school and had learned about this, I’d have been as mad as hell. Some of the children seemed fascinated by death, asking what I thought happened to us when we died, and by the possibility of life on other planets.
I’ll be preparing by looking at Dr Mike Newby’s guide to the use of story in spiritual and moral development, the BHA’s Humanist Perspectives for primary school teachers, and other resources. I’ll also be very interested to hear what our member Yvonne Peecock (experienced in parenting and play) says about introducing children to Humanism at our next meeting.
If you have any experience of primary school assemblies, god-free or religious, good or bad, feel free to sign up as a user (if you haven’t already), and let us know.
Perhaps ought to add that I used to teach (at secondary school level), and have been visiting schools as a Humanist speaker for years.
Related link: Inter-Faith & Us