Rugby World Cup assemblies

This is the second of several blogs about how you can use the buzz around the Rugby World Cup to encourage reading for pleasure in your school. Today, it’s assemblies.

You can use school assemblies to reach the whole school with ideas about reading for pleasure through major sports tournaments. Panel discussions. Quizzes. Newspaper review sessions. Even live matches. They can all work.


Regular Rugby references

During major rugby tournaments, rather than delivering rugby-dominated assemblies that may not appeal to everyone, pepper each assembly with features around rugby reading. Encourage teachers, sports coaches or children to tell everyone about something they have read about the sport. A magazine interview. A match report. A story. A rugby read of the day.


Rugby Reading Champions

Create a group of rugby-mad children and use them to promote reading for pleasure to the rest of the school. Call them World Cup Reading Champions. You can deploy them during regular or special school assemblies. Their role could be to:

  • encourage other children to take part in activities and displays in the school
  • tell other children about what World Cup reading they have been doing
  • read one of the Rugby World Cup story  chapters to the rest of the school
  • run a whole assembly, devising the content for themselves


Rugby Assembly Speakers

Having someone from outside your school come in and address an assembly is usually exciting. A new face. Especially someone with an exciting job or role in the community. But who to ask in?

Talk to your colleagues. Do any of the parents have sport related jobs? Does someone know someone who knows someone else? Can you approach an outside organisation to help you?

Here are some ideas for guest speakers:

  • ask your local rugby club if they can offer you a player, coach or member of the staff to come in and talk about themselves and the club – rugby clubs can be very keen to engage with the community. Contact the club and ask to speak to the community officer. Any person in a club tracksuit immediately has presence in a room, as you will see. Ask whoever comes to speak a little about how reading sports books, magazines and other things have helped develop their career.
  • Local sports journalists can be great speakers. Many children will be surprised that there are people in their area whose job it is to watch sport and meet players, then write about it. If a journalist can be encouraged to talk about being a professional writer – and what they read to get themselves there it can have a huge effect.
  • There are a few rugby authors in who speak in schools. Authors charge a fee for a visit, usually. But it can be well worth it having an author in for a whole day working on reading and writing with all the age groups. It will inspire children to try their books – and perhaps to try writing themselves.


From within

Do you have members of staff in school who love rugby? Can they be encouraged to do a slot in your school assembly? They could talk about their rugby or sports reading lives. Is there anyone from the PE department? Often children don’t see P.E. teachers as readers, so it would be a good opportunity to use them as positive role models. If you don’t have a P.E. teacher, you could invite one from a local high school, a community rugby coach or someone from the nearest leisure centre.


For more free ideas and resources about using the Rugby World Cup to encourage children to read for pleasure, please visit and check out the Read Rugby toolkit. It takes less than a minute to subscribe.

Many thanks.