Open the Book Assemblies at Newnham Croft Primary School

OPEN THE BOOK offers a programme of themed and dramatised Bible stories at no charge to the schools. Each session is around 10 minutes long.

Our teams from St Mark’s Church use drama, mime, props, costume - even the children and staff themselves - to present Bible stories in ways that are lively, engaging, informative ... and great fun for everyone involved! We do this most Monday mornings during term-time.

The work of OPEN THE BOOK has been favourably received by OFSTED and SIAS and helps primary schools in meeting their statutory Collective Worship obligations under the 1998 Schools Standards & Framework Act. Our teams offer a Bible story, not a sermon. The handbooks have been written with care and sensitivity by teachers and educators. We are simply contributing to the children's spiritual, religious and moral education by presenting Bible stories in a way that they will relate to and enjoy. Wherever possible, we involve the children themselves.

OPEN THE BOOK is being used successfully in schools with wide ethnic and religious backgrounds. There is no coercive content. The time for reflection is suitable for children of all faiths and none. No attempt is made to impose the Christian faith on a child. Whatever their background, children and teachers find it educational and fun. OPEN THE BOOK has proved popular in very varied Community and Church schools.

Our Aims are:

  • To present the Bible in primary schools in an accessible and enjoyable way.
  • To tell the stories in ways which enable the children to engage imaginatively with the text.
  • To assist primary schools in meeting their statutory collective worship obligations.
  • To contribute to the children's religious, spiritual and moral education.
  • To contribute to the biblical literacy of each new generation.
  • To enhance children's understanding of the nation's Christian heritage.
  • To encourage links between school and church in a local context.

At St Mark's we have an OTB team of ten who put on a weekly assembly at Newnham Croft PS. Each one needs at least five of us, taking on the roles of director, narrator and actors. The director decides the best way to present the particular bible story and casts it from whoever is available. With a bit of luck we may get out a script in advance, but most things are worked out between 9 and 9.45 am on Monday. We meet at church to run through the script a few times before leaving for the school with a handcart full of props and costumes. Once we get to into the school hall, we have a maximum of ten minutes to establish the set, rehearse children (whom we involve whenever we can), even rehearsing the whole school assembly to shout out words at the right moment. Then into costumes in time for a prompt start once all the classes new sitting down ready for the show, always introduced by "And now let us Open the Book!"

Mrs Sharon Williams, the Headteacher, wrote this at the end of the school year: Thank you for the time and effort you put in to all the wonderful assemblies this year! You really bring the bible stories to life, which helps the children to remember and understand them.

Drama and excitement at Open the Book assemblies: 

Some of the Open the Book team at a demanding post-presentation meeting over delicious coffee and cakes at the newly refurbished Newnham Bakery in Derby St.

Easter assembly 2017: