by Alison Thurlow
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To reflect on children’s time in primary school and encourage positivity regarding their move to secondary school (SEAL theme 7: Changes).
Preparation and materials
- You will need some funky stickers to use as small prizes.
- Familiarize yourself with the song ‘May God’s blessing be upon you now’ and, if possible, learn to sign it, too (included in Spring Harvest’s Kids Praise Party 3 book (Elevation, 2008) and onSpring Harvest’s Pre-School Praise 3 CD (ICC Records, 2008)). This is very effective if you sing it through once, then just sign it with the music and, finally, sing it again.
- You might like to prepare the tableaux for Step 2 of the assembly.
- Explain that, in the assembly, you will be thinking about moving on because, in September, most of the children will be either moving to a new class or a new school. Comment that people often look back and remember things from the past just before they are going to move on and say that this is what you are going to do to start with today.
- Ask for two teams of volunteers from Year 6 – four to six children in each team, depending on the size of the school.
Explain to the volunteers that you have got a little game for them to do – a game that will help them look back over their time in the school.
One at a time, give the teams the following situations and ask them to form a tableau for each one:
– your first day in Reception
– a Christmas nativity play when you were in Key Stage 1
– a school trip or camp
– taking a test in Year 6.
- Ask the other children to clap to show how much they like each tableau – the team that receives the loudest clap will win that round. At the end, thank all the Year 6 volunteers and give them each a funky sticker.
- Reflect that it was good – and funny – to look back at the Year 6 children’s time at the school. Add that you are now going to be thinking about them moving to their new schools in September and wondering how they are all feeling about that. Here is a short story about a Year 6 boy.
Kyle was 11 and he had been at the same school since he was 4. He wasn’t too keen on spelling tests, but otherwise most of the time he loved going to his small primary school. He felt as though he knew absolutely everyone in the school – the other children, the teachers, the dinner ladies, the people in the office and even the caretaker!
It was nearly the end of Year 6 and Kyle liked to think about some of the really good things he had done recently at the school: when the football team won the trophy, science day with the huge explosion in the hall, being on the school council and, best of all, Year 6 camp!
When Kyle started to think about leaving this school and going to his new school in September, however, his tummy felt all funny and, if he was really honest, he sometimes felt like crying. He wouldn’t know many people at his new school. It just wouldn’t be the same and he wasn’t quite sure that he wanted to move on yet.
Six months later, Kyle got off the bus and walked past his old school on the way home. Some happy memories came flooding back, but he realized that he hadn’t missed his old school as much as he thought he would. It hadn’t taken him long to get used to his new and bigger school and he had made loads of new friends. He actually liked having more teachers and he was really enjoying some of the new subjects. ‘Moving wasn’t so bad after all’, he said to himself.
- Ask if any children feel a bit like Kyle in the story when they think about moving to their new school, or class, in September.
- In the Bible, we can read a story about a woman called Ruth. While she was still quite young, her husband died and there was a famine in the place where she lived. Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, decided to move on to a new town to try and find food and start a new life. Ruth made the brave decision to go with her mother-in-law – to leave all her friends and go to a foreign land. When they arrived, Ruth started working in the fields and she was made to feel welcome. You can read more of this story in the Bible, but, eventually, she married a man called Boaz and they had a baby son called Obed. Right at the end of the story we are told that ‘the Lord blessed Ruth’.
Time for reflection
Although it must have been very hard for Ruth to move on, she knew that God would be with her and he would help her. Christians today would say the same thing – they may sometimes feel a little nervous about moving on, facing new situations, but they do believe that God is with them and will help them.
As you move on to new situations in September, remember that there will be lots of people there to help you and, if you wanted to, you could say a prayer and ask God to be with you.
Please be with us all as we move on.
Help us to look back and remember the good times we have had
and help us to look forward to the future without feeling afraid.
We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name.
‘May God’s blessing be upon you now’ (Spring Harvest, Kids Praise Party 3 book and Spring Harvest’s Pre-School Praise 3 CD)