A reBOOT in the ASSembly!

My memory of school assemblies are accompanied by the sensation of cold floors, pins and needles and the fear of having to do the ‘dead leg walk’ in front of the very people I was trying to impress…my peers!

Now years later, as a teacher, I sympathise with the chorus of groans as awkward teenagers struggle to sit cross-legged in assembly. Equally, however, I sympathise with my poor colleagues who have to stand in front of this barely conscious audience and somehow engage and inspire…as a job lot!

As a tutor, I found that it was during tutor time that my lovely tutees woke up, opened up and well… didn't shut up! Whilst witnessing their ever readiness to express an opinion, it occurred to me that maybe this was the place for real engagement and reflection.

Starting the day off on the right foot and providing food for thought is clearly valuable and still relevant in schools but maybe, I thought, it needed a reboot up the… ass(embly)! After talks with my head teacher I took on the challenge and REBOO was envisioned – they’re assemblies but not as you knew them!

REBOO is now an interactive digital assembly website – basically a dynamic and colourful platform where teenagers actually get involved with an assembly rather than being 'talked at' in one. I wanted to create a space where they could be inspired, challenged, engaged and where most importantly they could respond! When it comes to moral and spiritual stuff we can’t bark the answers at kids! We should start the conversations then sit back and listen …and possibly get involved if Jimmy decides to send everyone’s pack lunch to Africa!

In this last year we have launched PrimaReboo which is for primary schools. This works on the same principle - as a resource designed for group time and so we have called the assemblies HUDDLES. Each huddle encourages children to thoughtfully and actively (through fun activities) engage with assembly topics and develop their SMSC understanding. PrimaReboo's flexibility means it can be used whenever best suits an individual school's or teacher's timetable.

It is my hope that Reboo and PrimaReboo can be used as a resource to enhance and enrich existing assembly and collective worship practices in schools.


Elysia Willis - Director and creator of Reboo