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School assembly!

Posted: 11 Jul 2010, 00:26
by Annaoj
My daughter's school has regular visits from the local vicar, and when I mentioned it the head agreed that we need to do more to get other faiths represented. It's a small village primary school, at least 25 miles from any large town, and so locally there is just the church.

Anyway, I volunteered to lead an assembly on Druidry. HELP! I'm just an incomplete Bard, I don't want to do Druidry a disservice with my ignorance!

So, I'd really appreciate some brain-storming help please! I do not want the assembly to come across as a recruitment campaign, and the children are only 4-8 years old. What would you suggest to give a good, entertaining, flavour in just 20 minutes?

I've thought about telling the Taliesin tale, but there won't be time to go into the allegory, so it would 'just' be a story for them. I could talk about the wheel of the year, but at that age, I need to do more than talk.

Ideas please?



Re: School assembly!

Posted: 12 Jul 2010, 12:53
by Frog
Wow! A challenge indeed! apologies if this sounds, preachy - I turned it into "what would I do"...

Intro: who's heard of Druids? What springs to mind? (Merlyn, Getafix!)

A little of the three elements of Druidry: Bards, Ovate, Druids -
Introduce each "in character" as you see it - so the Bard is introduced as the teller of a funny tale, or of a mystery....
The Ovate is introduced as the person who would see the future... and cure you of evils
The Druid is the teacher, the wise, older person... who will introduce them to how Druids look at life:

Given the age of the children, setting the scene is important. So, introduce them to your "Grove":
You'll need a few children to make the trees that surround the grove.
You'll need 8 children to make up the four entrances to grove (and you'll need a compass to get the directions right!)
If there are any others, they can sit in a circle and they form your protective circle.

Once you start, you can get the "trees" to sit down in their circle.

As you walk to each entrance one you can welcome the guardian, Introduce them and what they represent, then ask the two gatekeepers to quickly demonstrate what they feel (and as the guardian walks through the gateway, the children in the circle can start to feel and act as the guardian walks to the centre. After you introduce them, raise the hands so that the children are silent.)
Once they are all in the circle you can reflect how each of them provides some benefit to the world and that you will then suggest to the children that these guardians will be there to help them protect the world - but it will need their help. Thank the guardians, and then thank the children for their help in looking after the world.

That should last about 20 minutes!!

Forgot to say... good luck!

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 13 Jul 2010, 02:59
by SammyS
OOOO challanging!!! May Awen insipre you with this one!!

Another little thing that some schools love doing is the planting of young trees and getting the kids to take them on as their own. Maybe if you have a local school/park something, you could afterwards get the kids to plant a small tree each in conjunction with the school/park... (or just encourage them to go home and plant something, even give a little bag of seedlings) Encuorage them that they have to look after it, love it, water it, and help it to grow as their tree. That way in years to come they can enjoy their tree as it grows. (ok so this isnt my idea, my primary school did a tree planting when i was in yr4 and my tree is still going strong and i smile and say hi every time i pass for almost 20 years now :) )

I do like the idea about 'creaing the grove' though... role play... GREAT for kids!!! :D

Blessings and Awen!

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 13 Jul 2010, 11:56
by Keri
You Go Girl!!
I feel the most important thing you can do is HAVE FUN. All the ideas sound fantastic. Just like to add: Love and respect of Nature.

Enjoy. :yay:

Bright Blessings,

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 13 Jul 2010, 12:25
by Annaoj
Thank you! You've managed to kick-start my little brains cells.

Frog, the human-Grove idea is brilliant. Thank you for that. I am certainly going to do it. I shall also incorporate a short (5 mins) guided meditation to show them how to create a Grove in their heads. Childhood can be scary and confusing at times, if I can help them find a place they can feel safe and peaceful, that would be a wonderful gift.

And as for the tree idea: fabulous! There are too many trees on the school field (is that possible?!) but I shall give each of them some tree seeds to take home. I'd like to give them a sapling each, but if I do the whole school, I'd need to get 100 saplings going over the summer. Seeds it is.

Errrrrr. . . where does one buy tree seeds? I've only bought actual trees before.


Re: School assembly!

Posted: 13 Jul 2010, 14:46
by Womble
Intro: who's heard of Druids? What springs to mind? (Merlyn, Getafix!)
Great idea, but would kids these days know who Getafix is? Maybe you could take along a picture?

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 14 Jul 2010, 12:30
by Frog
Intro: who's heard of Druids? What springs to mind? (Merlyn, Getafix!)
Great idea, but would kids these days know who Getafix is? Maybe you could take along a picture?

Sorry Womble... I just thought back to my childhood and the Druids that I rememebered... I hadn't realised Asterix had disappeared!

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 14 Jul 2010, 12:41
by Lunandris
Hiya! So glad I found you on here:). Great ideas! Love the seed idea! Love the grove. BUT from teaching experience it is far too much for 20 minutes. When I prepaired lessons I would write down what I really wanted to get across - normally looong list - then you have to do something I hated called "didactic reduction". Thinking of the age I would go for impressions. When you where your lovely new cloak it will look great. You are a bard - why not telling them a story that druids need to go to school just like them, that in the old days it was twenty odd years (sorry, just starting the course :oops: ), about the bards, druids, ovates, love to nature, the symbol of the oak leave. Keep it veeeery basic and simple. Should you get through that really fast, then have something in mind like the meditation to use the time propely to the end.
I only worked in german schools - so maybe english pupils are just much more disciplined and organized, but in my experience you need some time to get the focused already - so effective instead of 20min left with even less. BUT - I dont know how it works in a UK school :)
Love and light, Luna x

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 14 Jul 2010, 17:20
by Nightfalls
:fireworks: :fireworks: :fwrks:

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 14 Jul 2010, 21:57
by Annaoj
I knew who Getafix was . . . feeling old now! :-( :wink:

Welcome to Luna too (a good friend from other sites and Real Life).

Have got the whole school holiday to try out my ideas on my children. They are going to be mini-experts by September!



Re: School assembly!

Posted: 12 Dec 2010, 05:34
by Saule
I've been away from the boards a long time now, but in my catching up I found this and would LOVE to know how it went! I've tossed this problem around in my head for a long time now, not that I have anywhere in the foreseeable future to use it but I often worry about the "what if a young person asked?" question.

So if Annaoj is around somewhere I sure would love to know!

Re: School assembly!

Posted: 18 Jan 2011, 12:25
by Annaoj
Hello Saule,
Sadly, it has not happened (yet). It came about because I complained that the local vicar was always popping into assemblies and teaching about Christianity, so I wanted some balance. I found a local Rabbi who was willing to come in and then the school Head, who knows about our family beliefs, asked me to come to talk about Druidry. Then it was the summer holidays and when we got back the new deputy head had taken over organising assemblies.

I passed all the details on to her, but have heard nothing back. She wears a big gold cross around her neck and mostly seemed interested in getting more local church involvement.

As I am not trying to recruit, just inform, I have not pushed it. The Christianity element of the assemblies seems to have dropped off lately, so as long as the assemblies remain secular, I'm happy. If religion starts creeping in again, I shall push for better representation of all faiths (incl paganism).

It's a shame it hasn't happened, but as long as the children are not being fed just one story, it will do for now.