Assemblies are perhaps something that everyone remembers from school. However, what is different in ISP Elementary Gatherings is that they are entirely student organised and run!
The ISP Elementary Community refers to these bi-weekly times together as “Gatherings” over “Assemblies” because students are not simply sitting and being spoken to, but rather actively engaged as part of the leading and sharing.
Gatherings are typically organised by students working in four teams; Music Leadership, Technology, the Student Council (STUCO) and Roots & Shoots (a group which was founded by a group of students who care deeply about conservation and ecological issues) who jointly prepare the agenda.
Each gathering has many components; with there being announcements or presentations from classes. There is always a book read at every Gathering, in this instance, the Principal selects the book but it is read to the audience by students. Also an integral part of every Gathering is Kids of the International School of Prague (or KISP), this is a presentation about a student’s home country, which again, is entirely student designed and delivered.
Another integral part of Gatherings is the Vozembouch! All new students stand up as the audience and ISP Principal Dr. Vega and Ms. Zalba pound the Vozembouch on the ground three times while saying “Welcome to ISP”! A culture of inclusion and a sense of belonging is highly valued and celebrated with this standing tradition.
Overall, teachers play a facilitating role in Elementary Gatherings. Students take the leadership role, and in doing so helps create a sense of safety and belonging for all of our Elementary community and beyond.