Ideas for Assemblies: The Olympics

By Bev Forrest and Stuart Tiffany, published 5th March 2016

A series of whole-school or class assemblies planned for the weeks leading up to the Olympic Games in 2016 provides an excellent opportunity to introduce or reinforce pupils’ understanding of significance. Over the weeks the pupils will be introduced to inspirational stories taken from previous games and through this be invited to develop their own criteria for significance. Classes could nominate their own figure for commemoration, a vote held and the final assembly would be a celebration of the most worthy Olympian’s achievement.

Here is a small selection of figures you may choose to introduce. Some are much more well-known and better resourced than others. We have tried to reflect a range of sports, an international perspective and also a balance related to gender. It is important for the pupils to recognise that it is not always the winner who is remembered, but the key element is the competitor’s contribution. It is also a good idea to challenge the concept of fame and whether this is the same as being significant. You can also look at a competitor’s career beyond the Olympics and how they went on to use their fame to inspire and help others. It may be possible to choose a figure from your locality as this could open up opportunities for engaging with your community. Ian Dawson’s criteria for significance are a helpful reference tool for those of you wanting further support in understanding this concept...

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