by Gordon Lamont
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To celebrate learning, growth and change.
Preparation and materials
- Prepare a large version of the acrostic below. It would be good to be able to reveal the words one line at a time as you speak.
- Ask the children if anyone can remember their first ever day at school - not necessarily this school, their first day at any school. Collect their memories. Then ask, why do they come to school? Value answers such as 'because my mum says', and 'because I have to', but encourage them to look at the wider picture as well.
- Explain that Sunday 11 February is 'Education Sunday'. Ask if anyone would be prepared to say what 'education' means. Listen to the various answers, and then reveal your acrostic, letter by letter:
- Check that everyone understands what the words mean and that the first letters spell out EDUCATION. Briefly explain that although this doesn't make much sense to us, in some parts of the world there are very few opportunities for children to go to school - places where local people try very hard (ultra campaigns) to get a school for their neighbourhood.
- Ask who would like to swap places - let the children without a school come to your school for a day, while you all have a day without school. Ask if they'd like to swap for a week, a month, a year! Hopefully there should be fewer hands up by now. Ask someone who wouldn't like to swap for such a long time to explain why. If appropriate, use some of their thoughts in the reflection.
Time for reflection
Think back to your first day at school.
Now think how different your life would be if you'd never come to school.
You might enjoy the long days with nothing to do,
but think of all the things you've learned since you've been at school.
Think of the friends you've made,
the fun and games you've enjoyed,
the books you've discovered
and so much more (add children's thoughts from above here).
We think of those who don't have the chance to learn things as we do.
Thank you for our own school.
I'd like to say a special thank you for (time of silence, suggest children think of a favourite activity, friend or piece of work).
'One more step' (Come and Praise, 47)