INF536 Blog Task #2


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF536, required blog tasks | Posted on August 5, 2014

Observation task

While not a weekly or daily occurrence, I experienced our full school awards assembly this morning (and our welcome assembly to Japanese exchange student group). This term was the first full school assembly that we had during our building works. These are due to finish June 2015.

Typically on a Monday morning, I do not have a home group to work with as I’m part time. Usually I have a Yr 8 group Wednesdays & Thursdays. This morning when I got to school, I discovered that I’d be having a Yr 9 home group before supervising them in assembly, so that made me consider how things were presented about our new route for assembly as I didn’t normally have the Yr 9s and there was a student teacher attached to this home group. I was one of 8 home group relief teachers for today. I think this helped me to remember to observe/immerse myself in the experience. Assembly ended up being  around 45 min rather than the 30 min anticipated on the running sheet. Often these assemblies go later than one lesson.

Reminders about assembly & to check emails re today’s routes to the gym & awards winners were on the staff whiteboard near the staff entrance (not the front entrance).

Email to staff re routes to gym:

Hi everyone,

 More new territory for us! The (chaired) assembly gives us the chance to try out (partial) circumnavigation of the building site.

 The plan is to have Year 12 and Year 9 students approach across the oval and cross the worksite road and enter the gym from the single door on the western side.

 Years 8, 10 and 11 will access via the passageway on the eastern side of Tech and along the footpath on Gloucester Avenue and then into the gym by the double doors on the eastern side.

 We may also choose to use the southern door and will triage students at the Lone Pine if we follow this option.

 Hope this works! Please supervise students closely during this operation (and during the assembly).



For me this was slightly confusing as I don’t know where the lone pine is (I know there is one on site but no one’s actually told/shown me where it is)

Map of school site – map was edited by me from the yard duty areas map in the staff information folder that we receive at the beginning of the year. Not sure if relief teachers have this in their folder/information for the day.

SEHS map to gym

SEHS map to gym during building works

Note: The walkway at the top of the school (near bus 2 yard duty) is narrow,  single file near workshops/conference centre/kitchens. This would be quite tight when carrying chairs. (I didn’t experience this trip to the gym with chairs; I have with just Yr 8s & no chairs for a year level activity in home group/student development (extended home group).)

Plan was for Yr 9 & 12s to enter the gym via the oval door. However, when we got to the gym, we entered via the yard door. Leaving we left via the oval door (which we were supposed to enter through). The oval door is a single doorway whereas the yard & hill doors are double doors. My class followed the Yr 12s who were entering via the yard doors. The band was playing when we got to the gym which may explain why students didn’t want to go in the oval door.  (Edited to add – we used to have Yr 10-12s enter via Yard door and Yr 8-9 via Hill door; map taken from staff handbook)

Assembly seating plan in gym with entry doors labelled

Assembly seating plan in gym with entry doors labelled

Teachers were given the running sheet for assembly in home group pigeon holes.

I made some notes on this sheet as well as in my note/sketch pad.

agenda running sheet and my notes

agenda running sheet and my notes

my notes about assembly

my notes about assembly

A few shots of students leaving the gym. The first two show the narrow walkway to the yard doors that students entered by.

students leaving assembly through oval door

students leaving assembly through oval door

students leaving assembly through oval door

students leaving assembly through oval door


students walking past fencing

students walking past fencing towards “gate”


leaving assembly 4 after the "gate" is crossed

leaving assembly after the “gate” is crossed


leaving assembly past the back of the canteen towards the main buildings in the distance
leaving assembly past the back of the canteen towards the main buildings in the distance


Comments on other blogs:

Comments (7)

Oh dear! I have been in that situation as well. Sometimes it is frustrating because the powers that be don’t actually take the same route as the students and staff to navigate the building works. Good luck with the next assembly!

Next planned chair assembly is next term, so hopefully things work a little better than this time round. It was a first time so we expected some slight teething problems. I think most of it went okay. We are still working on the evacuation drill location which would normally go to the gym if it’s wet outside (this one could be more tricky)

My jaw dropped when I saw your pictures of students carrying chairs across grassed areas…then I realised you’re probably not in Melbourne where every grass area is wet and muddy at the moment. PE teacher I know would have a fit if they thought that shoes that had been anywhere near dirt were going to walk into their gym! Actually, even the chair carrying was a bit of a surprise. At my previous school we had year level and whole campus assemblies in our gym (very tight fit when all 900 year 10-12’s were packed in) but the students sat on the floor in a line behind a marker for their home group. Needless to say they didn’t like them much and behaviour management was always an issue.
My new school is about to embark on a major building project so it will be interesting to see how we manage the inevitable changes in routines that will entail. Clearly good planning and communication to all involved are key.

There was mud, but not very soggy thankfully (like the week before) & we did have the blue carpet run for the lessening of the mud into the gym. It changed from floor sitting always to chairs sometimes early in my first year that I’ve been at the school. We always have the anthems (Australian & visiting exchange group) at our chaired assemblies so I think the chairs makes that a little easier to deal with the standing from sitting. We have exchanges from Japan, Indonesia & China on a semi-regular basis, at least once a term if not more that we have a welcome assembly with the whole school. One school I used to be at would have most whole school assemblies outside between 2 wings of the buildings and they had to stand.

Elizabeth, I found your blog post observations so thorough. Your diagrams and pictures made me feel that I understood your journey to assembly very clearly. I am ruminating on how my own observations will transform into a design brief and I am very interested in how yours will also. I can see lots of propositions in the K-space for both your and my problems but I want to understand better how to tease out the C-space propositions. Is it in consulting widely with staff and students? Lots to think about!

Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. In DS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Hi Liz, this is a very thorough description of the assembly and of the interactions between the people and the space. It does seem like the students have to travel a much further distance to assembly than they do in the schools I have taught in. Did students take the expected amount of time to arrive at assembly? It would be interesting to note if the “changed” path to assembly affected student behaviour. Helen

the slight uncertainty of the assembly leaders may have been the concern of time for arrival. I’m not sure whether it took longer than expected as I wasn’t in the same corridor that I usually am for assemblies, upstairs in the furtherest wing as opposed to closest wing, bottom floor. Will take that into consideration with my next blog/design process. Yr 9 students seemed to behave the same as normal assemblies when I’ve looked over to them. (My yr 8 class in the middle section at the back).

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