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New Year: What's around the corner?

A New Year assembly to suggest that we accept what we cannot change and understand that we can change some things for the better.

by Laurence Chilcott

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


A New Year assembly to suggest that we accept what we cannot change and understand that we can change some things for the better.

Preparation and materials

  • None required.


  1. Read or tell the following story.

    It was the start of a new school day. Jenny was taking a message to the school secretary. She loved going on messages for her teacher and always felt proud when she was asked to do so. Jenny recited the message in her mind as she walked, just to make sure she would not forget it before she got to the office. She often did that. She would feel so embarrassed if she arrived at the office and forgot what she had to say.

    Callum was hurrying along the corridor. He was already late and knew that lessons would have started before he got into class. Callum hated being late, especially when it was his little brother, Craig, who was to blame. Why did Craig always lose something just as they were leaving the house?

    Callum quickened his pace and soon he was running. He knew he was not allowed to run in school, but he just couldn’t help it. His classroom was just around the corner and he could hear Mr Lawson telling the class to get their books out. Almost there . . . then . . . bang! Callum found himself on the floor with a swelling quickly forming on his chin. Standing opposite was Jenny, rubbing her head and fighting back the tears.

    ‘Why don’t you look where you’re going?’ Jenny said.

    ‘I didn’t see you around the corner,’ protested Callum.

    ‘And that’s the problem,’ said Mr Lawson who, hearing the commotion, had come out of his classroom. ‘You can’t see around corners . . . and you were running, Callum!’

    Callum didn’t need a reminder that running was not allowed in the corridors, but he got one anyway; and he apologized sincerely to Jenny.

    In no time at all, ice packs reduced the swellings and Jenny and Callum were back in class, none the worse for their experience. Jenny even remembered to give the secretary the message.
  2. There was nothing Jenny could do about the accident in the corridor. She couldn’t see Callum coming so couldn’t avoid it happening.

    Callum couldn’t see Jenny around the corner, but if he hadn’t been running he would have been able to avoid a collision.
  3. We are at the start of a new year. We don’t know what the year will bring. It is as if everything that is going to happen is around the corner. Like Callum, we can’t see around corners.

    In the year ahead some things will happen that we can do nothing about; we will have to face them as best we can.

    But if we resolve to learn from the mistakes of the past some unpleasant things will be avoided. People who make New Year resolutions do just that. They look at the mistakes they made in the year that has passed and determine to change things for the better in the year to come.

    Callum might do well to make a New Year resolution never to run in the school corridor again.

Time for reflection

What could you resolve to do differently in the New Year ahead?

Have you wasted time and left work unfinished? You could decide to concentrate harder and refuse to be distracted by others in your class.

Have you been unkind to someone and made them sad? You could bring that person into your games or make sure you are friendly in the year ahead.

Are you not making progress with your reading? You could make sure you read for a set time every day, or remember to take your reading book home, or ask someone to listen to you reading.

Spend a few moments thinking about the things that you could do to help make this year a good one for you and your family and friends.


Father God,
as we look forward to the year to come,
we ask that you will give us strength to face with courage the things we cannot change,
and determination to change those things we can change.


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

Publication date: January 2013   (Vol.15 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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