Hi, “I loved assembly because we got to sing hymns.” The school assembly – the daily assembly of pupils and staff, the dictionary says. Is it the common practice in all British schools? What is it like?
It varies, but there's often a hymn or two, a quick prayer and any school news or announcements. It still goes on, though it may be less religious now in some as there are so many faiths in the UK.
Another variable is how much of the school it includes. At my school (of about 600) we could all cram into one big room (the assembly hall). I don't think many schools nowadays have a room big enough to accommodate the whole school. Different schools have different solutions - upper/lower school assemblies, year-based assemblies....
So every day, as soon as children come, say, at 8.30, there's an assembly?
That's how it was for me, Humble ('50s and '60s). Today, as I said, it's less predictable. Both my children went to a small primary school where they had assembly before school. From the ages of 10/11 they went to schools where assembly before school was impossible (because of the size of the school).
Thank you, Bob. Funny it should have no article, BTW. I don’t see any grammatical difference from a meeting. What could the reason be?
Hmm - not easy. When talking about the idea of having such a meeting, there is an article: The Office for Standards in Education says that there must be an assembly of the whole school at least once a week. [Incidentally, this may not be true; OFTSTED has decreed something about assemblies but I don't know what. The example is just an example.]
But when talking about an item on the time-table, there is none: 'School starts with Assembly at 8.30'/'There's no time before Assembly, but I'll explain when we get the the class-room'.
Aha - the 'A' is a clue: when it's a proper noun, there's no article.