Prep virtual assemblies keep students inspired

The chairs in Weston Hall might not be filled these days, but Prep students are sharing special moments through assemblies online.
“We’re trying to maintain and continue building our UCC community,” says Michael Bushey, assistant head of the Prep for Senior Kindergarten to Year 5. “We want the boys to be able to see each other.”

Along with Primary Years Programme Coordinator Diane Jojic, Bushey organizes virtual assemblies every week, while Gareth Evans, assistant head of the Prep for Years 6 and 7, holds a virtual assembly weekly for those years. During the 20-minute gatherings, regular assembly themes like kindness, character and a caring community are emphasized.

Emily Robertson, who works for the Prep’s administration, also creates a video for each assembly.

“Teachers and students send me projects to include,” says Robertson. “Seeing what the students are capable of doing on their own without in-person motivation is incredible.”

Robertson also showcases the responses to various “challenges” designed to spur students’ creativity.

“The Middle Years Programme’s art challenge, which is run by teacher Nancy Preston, has been really amazing,” says Robertson. “These students are old enough to really express themselves through art. They’re making illustrations for inspiring quotes; illustrating a healthy meal; and photographing themselves giving a loved one a gift.

“There’s also a weekly assembly challenge created by Miss Frank and Miss Julien, such as building a CN Tower out of recycled materials, to inspire students to submit personal projects.”

Bushey says the assemblies always try to “highlight student work, performances and abilities. We’ve had Brandon, a Year 2 songwriter, perform for us on his ukulele.”

Faculty are also joining in with very engaging results. “We’ve featured faculty members making personal protective equipment or shaving their heads for charity,” Evans says. “Caring is an International Baccalaureate learner profile trait, and we often talk about the power of little things and acts of kindness, so we’re trying to make these things visible with the goal of creating a UCC community that is comfortable and safe for everyone.”
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