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New beginnings: A fresh start

To consider that when life gives us new starts, we have the opportunity to change aspects of ourselves for the better (SEAL theme 1: New beginnings).

by Jenny Tuxford

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To consider that when life gives us new starts, we have the opportunity to change aspects of ourselves for the better (SEAL theme 1: New beginnings).

Preparation and materials

  • Children can be rehearsed to speak the poems (see sections 2 and 3).
  • Rehearse other children to mime or form tableaux/still pictures to illustrate the poems.


  1. Introduction
    Discuss with the children the goals they would set for themselves, both long and short, in this new term.
  2. Ode to writing in class

    Has it happened to you?
    The moment when,
    Asked to write, you discover
    You’ve lost your pen?

    You start biting your nails
    And pulling your hair,
    But then you remember
    You carry a spare!

    You ransack your drawer
    To find where it’s hid,
    The tools of the trade,
    ’Er, pen, minus lid.

    You know what to write,
    She’ll like this, you think,
    But then you discover
    You’ve run out of ink.

    But, what’s this? A cartridge!
    Relief makes you weak,
    You bung it in quickly,
    But the pen springs a leak!

    Now you’re the first to admit,
    Will Shakespeare you’re not,
    But your wonderful words
    Come out with a blot.

    You change your nib
    From narrow to wide-r,
    But your writing’s like that
    Of a dyslexic spider.

    A few scratchings later,
    Hand the masterpiece in,
    Knowing full well
    It’ll end in the bin.

    You prayed for ideas
    But they never quite came,
    When your pen dried up
    Then so did your brain.

    Well, you give it in anyway,
    But don’t put your name.
    (Anonymous poets
    All did the same!)

    She asks whose it is
    As if she hasn’t a clue,
    But she knows all right
    ’Cos she looks straight at you.

    ‘Come now, children,
    Just the smallest of hints,
    Or shall I just dust it
    For fingerprints?’

    All that heartache,
    The worry and pain.
    ‘It’s no good,’ she says.
    ‘You must do it again!’

    I really don’t know,
    I think I’ll give in,
    Life’s like a lottery,
    You just can’t win!

    Small things, like always having your equipment – pens, cartridges, pencils, rulers, etc. – can make life much easier, as can writing your name on your work and having a tidy drawer!

    3.  Resolutions!
    I’ll get up in the mornings straight away.
    I’ll brush my teeth at least twice a day.

    I’ll eat my breakfast up without a fuss
    And walk to school, not go by car or bus.

    I’ll wear a tie and keep my shirt tucked in,
    Remember pumps and shorts when we have gym.

    In class I’ll try not to be distracted,
    Not add my sums when they should be subtracted.

    My homework will be done before I play
    And I’ll learn my spellings every single day.

    If anyone needs help, I’ll be first in line
    And if I keep my resolutions, and I will this time,

    Then, this year, everything should turn out fine.

Time for reflection

What goals can you set yourself this term, to make your life easier and more likely to succeed?

Dear Father,
give me strength of mind
and a caring heart
and the willpower it takes
to make a brand new start.


‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: August 2011   (Vol.13 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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