Endings and beginnings
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To celebrate the ending of an era and encourage hope for new beginnings (SEAL theme: Changes).
Preparation and materials
- You will need the following endings and beginnings images and the means to show them during the assembly, together with the quotes:
– ‘Life is a series of beginnings and endings. Let the dead stuff go and embrace what is being born new’ at: www.bravegirlsclub.com
– ‘Endings are just new beginnings waiting to happen’, at: www.onlinecounselingandeverydaylife.com
– ‘Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending’, at: www.grandmaslettersfromafrica.blogspot.com
- You will also need a whiteboard for the ‘Assembly’, Step 3, and write the blessing in the ‘Prayer’ part of the assembly on the whiteboard or otherwise display it so that the children can see and read it.
- Show the first image.
The words, ‘Life is a series of beginnings and endings. Let the dead stuff go and embrace what is being born new’ are true of nature. We experience the seasons year on year. The countryside around us, once so vibrant in summer, wilts in autumn, lies bare in winter, then, in spring, new life always comes forth once again.
In our lives, however, the past isn’t always looked on as ‘dead stuff’. The past has often been enjoyable, fun and we don’t want it to end. The past is comfortable, safe and secure.
- Explain that there will be many endings and beginnings during our lives. Endings can be particularly challenging, especially when an ending brings the end of an era, a situation that has existed for a long time. Usually this means that things are going to change.
For us in assembly today, we are perhaps celebrating the end of primary or junior school. Some of us may be moving to new places and new schools. It is hard to say goodbye to a teacher, to classmates, to a school community. There can be a great sense of sadness and loss at these times. It is OK and very normal to feel sad and even a bit anxious, but we can also stay open to new beginnings.
Show the second image.
Say the words, ‘Endings are just new beginnings waiting to happen.’
- Carry out the following activity using the whiteboard.
For each of the pairs of words below, insert a word in the blank space between them to form the end of the first word and the beginning of the second word or separate words, creating two new words, as shown:
win ter mite
win now here
ten don or
back drop let
gem stone work
guide line dancing
bar code word
copy cat nap
night fall out
So an ending can also be a new beginning!
- Show the third image.
Say the words, ‘Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.’
There is always the possibility of a new start. Each day is a new day with new possibilities. We don’t need to wait until New Year’s Day to make a fresh start. Let’s celebrate today the end of the old and the beginning of the new.
Time for reflection
Many of you will have an autograph or yearbook in which you have been collecting messages from friends and teachers as a memento of your time here before moving on to the next stage of your education.
Here is a traditional Irish blessing, an ancient Celtic prayer, that reminds us God wants to be involved in our lives. This may therefore be a fitting message to write in your book of school memories.
Read the following blessing from the whiteboard.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.