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To encourage students to reflect on endings and beginnings – how they are similar and spark different feelings in us.

by Manon Ceridwen James

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To encourage students to reflect on endings and beginnings – how they are similar and spark different feelings in us.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the song ‘Hello, Goodbye’ by the Beatles. If you don’t have an audio copy, it can be found on YouTube at: or iTunes. You will also need the means to play it during the assembly.


  1. Talk about the song ‘Hello, Goodbye’ by the Beatles. Ask the children if they have heard of the Beatles. The song was released in 1967, which is probably before many of their teachers were born. It might have been a song their grandparents knew, though we still hear it as the songs by the Beatles are very popular.
  2. Play the song and ask the children to listen carefully to it and the words. As well as ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, ask them if there are any other words that are paired up, words they think are opposite to one another. If so, what are they?
  3. Go through the word pairs suggested by the children, which should include ‘yes/no’, ‘high/low’, ‘stop/go’ and ‘why/I don’t know’. Discuss whether the last one really is an opposite pair of words or they have just been used to form a rhyme!
  4. Ask the children if they can think of other opposite words? Have fun thinking through what the opposite to the following might be: up (down), laugh (cry), hot (cold), empty (full), win (lose), rich (poor), clean (dirty), tidy (untidy), quiet (loud), happy (sad). You can get them to act out some of these words, such as asking them what ‘happy’ looks like or to make a sad face.
  5. Talk about how the end of term, end of a year and so on are times to think about hellos and goodbyes, being sad and happy. Sometimes, even though happy and sad are opposite words, we can feel happy and sad about the end of term. Happy because we’re looking forward to the summer holiday, happy to be moving into a new class or even a new school.

    We can also feel sad. Sad at moving into a new school and leaving behind the old school and sometimes leaving behind friends, too. Sad about moving into a new class if we liked our old class and old teacher.

    It’s odd to feel happy and sad at the same time, just like it’s odd to sing a song about hellos and goodbyes, but sometimes hellos and goodbyes happen all at the same time. Today we say goodbye to an old school or a class and hello to a new school or class. 6. Encourage the children to think about their feelings about saying hello and goodbye at the end of term while they listen to the song.

Time for reflection

When Jesus said a final goodbye to his friends, he reminded them that he would always be with them – but in a different and new way – and they would feel him with them, supporting them. He said:

And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28.20).

If we worry about the future, it might help us to know that Jesus has promised to always be with his friends.


Dear God,
Thank you for hellos and goodbyes,

for old friends and new friends we haven’t even met yet,

for the summer holidays and all the good things that will happen to us next year.


Publication date: July 2013   (Vol.15 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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