Run a school assembly
One of the most effective ways to engage girls at school is by holding an assembly. Why not give it a try?
Since April last year we've run a number of school taster sessions for Rainbow and Guide units in the area and they've been successful every time. - Alison, Development worker
Find out which schools your members attend. You can contact these first, but try other schools in the area too.
Establish your offer
Set out what you can offer the school, and what their pupils would gain from being a part of Girlguiding. For example, guiding can help increase their confidence and support the development of leadership and communication skills.
Get in touch
You'll need to ask permission to do an assembly, so write to the head teacher or school governors explaining who you are and what you'd like to do.
Make sure you know what to expect when you run your assembly and ask questions that will help you plan its structure:
- Is it possible to do a girl-only assembly so you can really focus on guiding? If boys will be present, it’s a good idea to mention opportunities available to them too.
- What facilities are available in the assembly room? A projector means you can share photos or run a PowerPoint presentation.
- What age are the pupils? Smaller primary schools are likely to have mixed-age assemblies, so it's important to know who you will be talking to.
- How long can your session be?
Drop into your local school with an introductory letter and leaflet, then follow up with a call a couple of weeks later. Try to avoid the beginning and end of the day and break times when staff are likely to be busy.
Plan it out
Once you know how long you've got, plan out some timings as a guideline. Leave some time for questions at the end. Your session plan might look like this:
- Introduction - who you are, and what you do in guiding (1 min)
- Presentation or video and talk - talk in detail about the section that you're recruiting for (10 mins)
- Activities - find out how many children will be in your assembly and think of some suitable activities that fit in with the guiding programme. You may find that a game or activity works well after sitting down for a while, and makes it different from a normal school assembly (12 mins)
- Questions - give the pupils a chance to ask you about your unit and what you do (7 mins)
Make it fun
keep things interesting by taking exciting props from guiding activities. For example, for 11-year-olds, why not bring along a pop-up tent?
we have some great videos which show all the best bits of guiding - ask your unit to choose their favourite and show it during your assembly.
Check to see if there is a development worker in your Region who can help with planning assemblies and activities in schools.
Make sure you don't leave a mess after your presentation. Make a good impression and you might get invited back!
Leave some information
Leave some posters and leaflets with the school reception to be displayed to reach more pupils and parents.
Most classes have about 30 pupils, so leave postcards in blocks of 30 to make it easy for them to be handed out.
Show the staff that you appreciate their support by sending a thank you letter to the school.
Keep in touch
Offer to run a taster session. This could be at lunchtime, or before or after school. Keeping in regular contact gives a great impression of guiding and you may even end up with some new ambassadors!
If you send a newsletter to your unit members, how about sending some copies to the school, too?