Fresh for 2018:

Free Time assemblies










Helping primary schools engage with Christianity

Since 1986 we’ve supported primary schools with assemblies, clubs and RE lessons. We are linked with nearly 100 schools in South London and the South East.

We have warm and professional relationships with headteachers and staff in the schools we visit. Our presence is a vital link between schools and local churches.

We write our own material. Much of it is freely available for you to access, use and adapt. Everything on this site is tried and tested. We know it works because we have used it ourselves.

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Free Time

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"My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)

Introduction:  The way children use their free time has changed dramatically over the last decade or so. ‘Screen time’ is at an all-time high, as is participation in extra-curricular clubs (sports, dance and so on). None of this is a bad thing in itself, however, there are certain pastimes and activities that are falling by the wayside. As trusted adults we can encourage children to explore some of these things. Perhaps it’s part of the ‘rich and satisfying life’ that Jesus came to give.

Another part of that rich and satisfying life, to many Christians around the world, comes from understanding some of the things taught in the Bible. This series explores a little bit of Christian understanding of freedom and time, and then some…

Contributors: Mark Hollingbery, Heather Peters, Steve Palmer, Martin Sweet, Glenis Ruston, Isabel Palmer, Harriet Allen

For Full assembly pack click here 

Get Involved

Demand for Spinnaker's input has always outweighed our resources.  If you have something to offer Spinnaker as a volunteer, come and have a chat.

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What we’re thinking – team blogs

Be fully engaged & fully inspired! (you and the children!)

The best feeling I get when about to lead an assembly is to see excitement and expectation on children’s faces as they come into the school hall and see me there. Some, just give a small smile as they parade past me. Others approach desperately asking to take part - whether holding a prop, acting out the Bible Story, reading, or answering questions. Children love to be involved.
I thoroughly enjoy leading assemblies, in fact I love it. I have fun. I enjoy sharing aspects of my Katiefaith through telling Bible Stories in different ways, and I love to engage the children with Christianity.  I believe they can catch a glimmer of my passion for learning more about God, and how He can be relevant in our lives today.

Of course, this relationship with the school, its staff and pupils can only be built up over time. As children have got to know me, they have learnt to trust that I will not embarrass them, only encourage and thank them for their participation and put them at ease as we work together. Do I get nervous? Yes always! But I can be confident knowing that the children and school want me  there, that I have prepared to the best of my ability, and that God is with me!

Spinnaker Assembly packs are easy to use and I particularly like the fact that each term’s assemblies are linked to a theme. The current pack is ‘Key Ideas’ – Bible Stories relating to keywords … Trust, Responsibility, Freedom etc. It’s good to test the children’s memories from previous assemblies and for them to anticipate what will happen next. I never fail to be amazed at how much they remember!

It’s hard to choose the best assembly that I’ve been involved with, as many have memorable moments, but one that stands out for me, which used a different method of Story Telling from usual, was The Story of Gideon. “I can’t do that” Gideon kept saying. “Yes, you can!” said God.

I started by asking children if they were good at drawing. From those who said ‘no’ I invited two volunteers to come out and learn how to draw a cartoon character on a whiteboard.

With help and instruction, they drew a simple character who became ‘Gideon’ for our Bible Story. I then told the story using the whiteboard, drawing each part of the story using simple pictures. The children were fascinated, totally engaged, you could hear a pin drop. Gideon didn’t think he’d ever be able to defeat the Midianites but with God’s help and instruction he did! Just like our two volunteers.

I wonder what things we think we can’t do, but with help from others, and God, and with clear instructions we can do all sorts of things … including leading collective worship!

Joining the Spinnaker team

Gill Ashley-Smith interviews Rachel Swaby

Rachel, how have you found it to join Spinnaker for work in schools?

It’s been a good experience. As it turned out, the induction was a long one because other teaching commitments meant I wasn’t able to start Spinnaker work for several months, but the office team, Clare, Steve and Caroline have been very supportive and helpful. I came to the recent team meeting for schools workers, and everyone seemed enthusiastic, and they were friendly and welcoming.
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Blackboards to retina scanners – schools are changing – is Spinnaker changing too?

Magasine Cover JPEG

When I first began working with Spinnaker in 1997, blackboards were still a common site in schools, but most classrooms were embracing a new technology… the whiteboard!  They were clean, bright and when a good quality pen was used on them, they gave an excellent writing experience for the teacher compared with the dusty chalk of the preceding 200 years. 

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"What are you making?"

“What are you making?” a friend asked when she returned to find her living room floor covered with newspaper, modelling material  and masking tape. 

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