Assembling Citizens
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Help

Introduction
Preparing for Use
Using the website
Searching for Assemblies
Displaying and Printing Assemblies
Thoughts
Customising your database
Recording usage of assemblies
Changing your password
Registering your email address
Adding (and editing) new thoughts
Adding (and editing) new assemblies

Other queries


Introduction

Welcome to Assembling Citizens - a Secondary school assembly resource for active citizenship and personal development.

Assembling Citizens is a huge database of resources for leading assemblies that relate to the citizenship and PSHE curriculum. The topics connect with Programmes of Study and Guidelines for PSHE and citizenship in the UK.

The assembly content and approaches are rooted in values found in the Christian and Hebrew Bibles.

Assembling Citizens contains material to use through six years of secondary schooling, grouped under eight themes, relating to active citizenship and personal development:
  • Self
  • Relationships
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Environment
  • Citizens and politics
  • Active citizens
  • Special occasions
  • Current affairs
Assembling Citizens starts with 84 assembly outlines and will triple in size within the first two years. Current affairs topics will be added regularly during term time.
More information...

These notes are designed to help you use the website, and to deal with any questions which may arise

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Preparing for Use

To use the website, you will need:-
  • a computer with an internet connection;
  • a web browser program;
  • a PDF reader program.
You should also
  • register an email address.
If you are reading these notes, the chances are that you have at least the first two of these. The third - a browser plugin such as Adobe Acrobat reader - is a very common browser plugin, needed to access documents on many DfES and agency websites. If you do not have a copy, you can get one free from www.adobe.com

To register your email address with Assembling Citizens, Click on Customise and choose the appropriate option. This will help you (if you ever forget your password), and help us to keep in touch with you.

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Using the website

Non-subscribers have access to some of the website, to try some free assemblies.

To gain access to the full database, visitors will need to subscribe. The subscribers' area is password-protected. Subscribers will be challenged for a password before being allowed to enter.

You can subscribe to Assembling Citizens online.

The subscribers' area is divided into three main sections - Assemblies, Thoughts, and Customise.

You will know when you are in the subscribers' section because these three options (along with Overview and Help) are available from the bars at the top and bottom of each page.

Other sections (such as the free samples section) may have a superficial similarity - subscribers should take care not to confuse the two, or they will find their access to assemblies severely restricted!

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Searching for Assemblies

From the opening Assemblies screen allows you to look for suitable assemblies by choosing a relevant Age Group, Theme, or keyword. If you choose More search options, you will also be able to search by examining by Subthemes within the Themes, and by searching for specific words in the full text.

Important things to note:-
  1. You can't choose a Subtheme without first choosing a Theme. This is because the Subthemes are specific to each Theme, and only become available when a Theme is selected.
  2. The keywords / title search will search for words in the title of the assembly, or in the keywords by which it has been indexed/classified. This is normally sufficient for most search purposes.
  3. The full text search really does search all the text in the database of assemblies. It will search for any exact matches of the words or word fragments you type in, and lists any assemblies which contain them all at least once.
The results from any search are returned as a list. For each assembly listed, you can choose to
  • click on the title and view it;
  • see a summary of it in a pop-up box;
  • check for the previous usage of that assembly (if any);
or you can do another search.

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Displaying and Printing Assemblies

Assemblies are displayed section by section. Each section has its own tickbox, and initially all are ticked. Use this facility to select and print the parts of the assembly you want to use.

If you untick any boxes, and then click on the Display selected sections button, the assembly will be redisplayed, but only with the sections for which the tickboxes are still ticked. Use this facility to select the parts of the assembly you want to use. If you make a mistake, you can restore all the sections by clicking on the Restore all sections button.

When you have the assembly displayed as you want it, print it using your browser's print facility (as you would print any web page). This is often an icon in the browser tool bar. If you can't find it, choose Print from the browser's File drop-down menu.

Some sections are links to resources. All OHT resources are provided in PDF format, to ensure good quality reproduction and (relatively) fast download times. Clicking on one of these links will cause your browser to display the OHT master in its PDF plug-in, quite probably Adobe Acrobat Reader. Printing is as above. (You could print directly to a suitable acetate, but if you are using an Ink Jet and/or network printer you may prefer to print on paper and make the acetate using a photocopier.)

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Thoughts for the day

Every Subtheme has five related 'Thoughts for the day'. These could be used over the course of a week.

The opening screen lets you select the available 'thoughts' for any Theme and Subtheme.

Click the Show Thoughts button and the relevant 'thoughts' will be displayed. You can print these out as you would print any web page. There is often a 'print' icon in the browser tool bar. If you can't find it, choose Print from the browser's File drop-down menu.

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Customising your database

The Customisation menu lets you record your usage of assemblies, and add your own assemblies and 'thoughts'. Other subscribers will not be able to see the material you add, but when you search for and retrieve materials, your own additions will appear just the same as the common ones provided to all subscribers.

You can also change your password and registered mailbox from this menu, and request help if you forget your password.

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Recording usage of assemblies

You can do this from the Customisation Menu (in which case you first have to search, to display the appropriate assembly title) or directly, from any full display of the assembly in question.

Whichever route you choose, select the Record Usage option for the appropriate assembly. Enter your preferred date, select the appropriate group, and type in any notes you wish to make (such as which parts of it you used). Then click on the Add button.

The search facilities in this section also provide an option to list all assemblies used with a particular group - a useful checking facility. Please note that the results display from this search also gives you the option to edit your usage notes/comments.

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Changing your password

You can do this from the Customisation menu. You can use this option to change your password to something you may find more memorable than the one you were given. But if you do that, please choose something reasonably secure - not a trivial password.

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Registering your email address

You can do this from the Customisation menu.

If you do this, and then forget your password at some future time, you will be able to request help via email. We will also be able to email news of updates.

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Adding (and editing) a 'Thought for the Day'

You can do this from the Customisation menu.

You can add 'thoughts' for your own use - they will mix seamlessly with the common ones provided, but will be only available to you - not to other subscribers.

Simply choose a theme and subtheme, and type in your thought.

If you later wish to edit any thought you have entered, you can do so, but please note that you will only be able to change its contents - not the theme/subtheme classification.

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Adding (and editing) an Assembly

You can do this from the Customisation menu.

The opening 'Add' screen deals with entering the titles, theme and age classification, keywords and summary. Please note that for security reasons, you will not be able to edit the title, theme/age classification or keywords once they are entered. So take care to get them right! (Also, again for security reasons, you will not be able to delete an assembly record, though you can edit its contents down to almost nothing if you wish.)
The summary section follows the patterns established by the assemblies in the common resource. If you don't want to use a particular section, just leave it blank and it will be ignored.
Before you add the assembly (by clicking on the button at the bottom of the form) make sure you have selected the option you want for adding the next part of the content.

You will gain the most flexibility by adding separate sections of standard text. This will make them work in a similar way to those in the common resource. (Also, the full text search will be able to include them.) Any image you add will be displayed as a linked resource, as an OHT Master. Any PDF or HTML file you add will be stored 'as is', as a linked resource. This gives you the option of adding assemblies as single files... though if you do this you won't be able to select different sections, and the full text search will not include them.

Please note that linked resources are external files which are linked to your personal area of the database, and are not as well secured as text that is stored within the database. PDF files are stored 'as is', but HTML files are only allowed basic formatting, for security reasons. (Disallowed formatting is removed where practical: in other cases it is altered to reduce the security hazard.)

Also, note that whilst we will do our best to keep everything safe and secure, you should keep your own backups of any material you add, and you should not add anything of a confidential nature.

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Other queries

Please contact us with any feedback or questions using this form.

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Assembling Citizens © 2002 - 2017 The Stapleford Centre

This material may be reproduced without infringing copyright provided it is for use within the purchasing institution only. The permission of the publishers must be obtained before reproducing this material for any other purpose.