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Are We a Good Example to Follow? (M&S Christmas Advert 2017)

Uses the M&S Christmas advert 2017 to consider how we can affect others

by Rachael Crisp

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the impact that we can have upon the lives of others.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Are We a Good Example to Follow?) and the means to display them.

  • Have available the YouTube video ‘M&S Christmas TV Ad 2017: Paddington & The Christmas Visitor #LoveTheBear’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 1.35 minutes long and is available at:


  1. Explain to the children that every year, some major high-street stores put together a special Christmas TV advert to advertise their products.

    Ask the children if they have ever seen any Christmas adverts, and ask them to describe them.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Explain that this year, Marks & Spencer has brought out a Christmas advert called ‘Paddington and the Christmas Visitor’.

    Show the video ‘M&S Christmas TV Ad 2017: Paddington & The Christmas Visitor #LoveTheBear’.

  3. Ask the children the following questions.

    - At the beginning of the advert, Paddington is dreaming about something that he hopes Santa will bring him. What is it? (Answer: a jar of marmalade. Remind the children that Paddington’s all-time favourite food is marmalade sandwiches.)
    Who does Paddington accidentally hit when he opens his bedroom window? (Answer: a burglar or Santa.)
    Who else could this person be? (Answer: a burglar or Santa. Point out to the children that Paddington mistakes the burglar, who is stealing Christmas presents, for Santa.)
    What is the name of the first child to have a present delivered when Paddington helps? (Answer: Alice.)
    - How do you think the burglar was feeling when Paddington was taking back all the presents he had originally stolen? (Answer: we can see from his facial expressions and body language that he was unhappy.)
    - While Paddington is eating, what does the burglar do? (Answer: he puts a present under the tree. Explain to the children that the burglar is starting to change his attitude and joins in with the giving of presents.)
    What do Paddington and the burglar fall off? (Answer: the roof.)
    - How do you think the burglar was feeling when he was peering through the window, watching Alice and her family open the presents? (Answer: he was smiling, so he seemed happy.)
    - What does Paddington give to the burglar as a present? (Answer: one of his own marmalade sandwiches. Remind the children that marmalade sandwiches are Paddington’s favourite, so he gave away something precious to someone he had only just met.)

  4. Ask the children to think about the impact that Paddington had on the burglar.

    Pause to allow time for thought.

    Explain that Paddington’s actions influenced the attitude and behaviour of the burglar. Not only did the burglar’s actions change, but so did his attitude. Paddington used his influence for good.

  5. Ask the children, What do you think the burglar did next?

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Encourage the children to consider whether the burglar would go back to a life of crime or whether he would take the opportunity to continue to show the kindness, care and compassion that he had learnt from Paddington.

  6. Point out that although we don’t know what happened to the burglar, we can assume and hope that his life was changed for good. We hope that he would show the same love and care that Paddington had shown to him.

Time for reflection

Show Slide 1.

Read the story on the slide and ask the children what they think the story teaches us.

Listen to a range of responses.

Explain that just like Paddington in the advert, the boy in the starfish story used his influence for good.

Sometimes, it can seem like there are a lot of problems in the world. Sometimes, it can seem like there are a lot of problems in our own lives. However, bit by bit, we can take small steps to help overcome these problems.

Let’s take this opportunity to think about who we can help and how we can help others.

Let’s use our influence for good, helping one person at a time.

Dear God,
Thank you that we can all influence others.
Please help us to be good examples.
Please help us to love and care and to be kind and thoughtful.
Help us to have the courage to stand up for what is right.

Publication date: November 2017   (Vol.19 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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