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In a maze: A beginning of the new school year assembly

To reassure the children as they change classes or join the school.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To reassure the children as they change classes or join the school.

Preparation and materials

  • No preparation is necessary but an OHP will help in sharing the optional poem (below).

Assembly

  1. Now that the holidays are over there is the excitement and apprehension of starting a new school. Many of the new children here today will be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of being either in school for the first time or in a building much bigger than their last school, having to face a new routine and getting to know new people.
  2. Those of you who have been in this school for over a year can perhaps remember how you felt on your first day. It was like being in a maze, not knowing which way to go in order to arrive at the centre and then find your way back out again.
  3. Today’s story is about such an occasion:

    The Maze
    By Jan Edmunds

    Sita was getting rather nervous. She and her family had just moved into a new house, and in a few days she would be starting a new school. She was sad to have left her old school and all her friends behind.

    The weekend before the new term began her parents took her to a nearby adventure park. Sita saw a notice that indicated the way to a maze.‘What is a maze?’ asked Sita.

    ‘It’s a kind of puzzle,’ said her father. ‘There are lots of pathways lined with tall hedges. Some lead to a dead end; others take you round in circles. The idea is to find your way into the centre and then out again.’

    ‘Can we try?’ said Sita.

    ‘Of course,’ said her mother. ‘It should be fun.’

    So they bought some tickets and went through an archway into the maze. They followed the paths this way and that. Some led nowhere and they had to retrace their steps. Some took them round in circles and they came back to where they had started! Eventually they managed to find their way to the centre. The next thing to do was to find their way out again. That was when all the fun seemed to disappear from it and they just could not find the way out.

    After what seemed about an hour they were getting anxious. knowing that the park would be closing soon. Sita was worried that they’d have to spend the night there! Having arrived back at the same place several times Sita was so relieved to hear a friendly voice, which belonged to a young man. From his uniform, it was evident that he worked at the park. ‘You lost?’ he asked.

    ‘I think so,’ said Sita’s father.

    ‘Don’t you worry,’ said the young man. ‘Follow me.’ Within the next ten minutes they were at the exit of the maze. They were very grateful. ‘You’re not the only ones to get lost,’ the young man said. ‘But don’t worry – we never leave anyone in there; we always check the tickets and keep an eye on who goes in and out.’

    ‘What an adventure!’ said Sita when they arrived home.

    Monday came and her mother took her to her new school. The building looked so big and Sita felt very nervous about going inside.

    ‘It’s like the maze,’ she said. ‘I just hope there’s someone in there to guide me through it.’

    She needn’t have worried because she was met at the door by a very friendly girl who told her she was to be her [buddy/guardian] (or whatever your school names children allocated this role). Sita felt very reassured and within days with her [guardian’s] help she was able to find her way around the new school and had soon made many new friends.

    ‘It did seem like the maze at first,’ she told her parents. ‘But I’ve managed to work out the puzzle and find my way round.’ Sita was happy to be at her new school.

  4. Optional poem:

    Round and round we seem to go, turning left and right.
    Finding it’s a dead end, we may be here all night!
    Back again we trace our steps, then round another bend,
    Feeling lost, we struggle on, will it never end?
    That’s the way it seems today, not knowing where to go.
    We need some help, a friendly face, to help us so we know.
    It’s bound to take a little while to find our way about,
    And with a little patience, no doubt we’ll work it out.

Time for reflection

So try to be especially helpful to all the new children in our school today.

Prayer
Dear God,
When we feel lost and insecure, please be there to guide us.
Be with us in our work and play, and be our strength along life’s way.
Amen.

Song/music

‘One more step along the world I go’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: August 2010   (Vol.12 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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