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Living statues: An end-of-year-leavers' assembly

To celebrate individual achievement and to recognize the uniqueness of every person (SEAL theme 7: Changes).

by The Revd Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To celebrate individual achievement and to recognize the uniqueness of every person (SEAL theme 7: Changes).

Preparation and materials

  • Forward preparation is required for this assembly. Ideally, members of the leavers’ group should undertake this. Prepare a suitable podium and invite every leaver to pose proudly and confidently (not forgetting to display the leaver’s name on the plinth) so that digital images can be taken for use in a PowerPoint presentation.
    (These images must be destroyed after the assembly to comply with Safeguarding recommendations.)
  • Ask all the leavers to describe, in not more than ten words, either one of their achievements or an interest they have taken up during their time at school.
  • Combine the images and statements in a PowerPoint presentation. This could be an end-of-term project.
  • Begin the presentation with several photographs of famous and/or local statues. You might end it with an image of the statue of Christ the Redeemer standing over Rio de Janeiro. Add the words: ‘The greatest among you is the one who serves’ (see Matthew 23.11).

Assembly

  1. Display the images of famous and/or local statues. Who are the people commemorated? (Explain the term ‘commemorated’.) What were their achievements? When were they born and when did they die? Why were the statues erected?

    Reflect that statues are put up to honour people who have made valuable contributions to their country or community. Most (but not all) depict people who have died. The statues are often made of a metal called bronze.
  2. Announce (excitedly): ‘Today this assembly is being held to honour those who have made valuable contributions to the life of this school. Here are some living statues that you may recognize, together with the reasons why they are proud to have been a part of our community.’

    Before you begin the presentation, arrange for someone to announce the name of each ‘living statue’ as the image is shown. When 10 to12 pupils have been featured, pause for applause, and call those concerned to make a live appearance. This may also provide an opportunity for the awarding of certificates, etc.

    When the presentation is complete, reflect on the range of achievements and interests of the ‘living statues’. Each leaver is different – each has been a valued member of the school community. Thank the leavers for the various ways in which they have contributed to school life.
  3. Observe that while bronze statues remain the same, ‘living statues’ change and grow. Encourage the leavers to look ahead positively and to realize their potential. Not everyone can be famous but all can help to make the world a better and happier place.
  4. Display the final image and conclude with this thought: And Jesus teaches us the meaning of true greatness. He said, ‘The greatest among you is the one who serves.’

Time for reflection

Lines from a prayer of Dag Hammarskjöld, a former Secretary General of the United Nations

For all that has been – Thanks!
For all that shall be – Yes!

Song/music

‘Make me a channel of your peace’ (‘The Prayer of St Francis’) (Come and Praise, 147)
Now thank we all our God’ (Come and Praise, 38) (Particularly appropriate if Year 6 has been a challenging group!)
‘Shalom’ (Come and Praise, 141)
‘You shall go out with joy’ (Come and Praise, 98)

Publication date: July 2011   (Vol.13 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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