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Based On A Book: Memorials 1

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To look at the importance of memories.

Preparation and materials

  • Familiarize yourself with the story Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, illustrated by Julie Vivas (Puffin, 1987).
  • A basket containing the objects described in the story would enhance the telling, but is not essential. The objects are a shell, medal, football, egg and string puppet. You may wish to sit in an armchair with a shawl, too, so the children can visualize Nancy.
  • Note that you might want to create an opportunity in a circle time later in the day for each child to describe objects that they would choose to express their memories.
  • For the prayer to conclude the assembly, either ask a group of children to make up a prayer about their thankfulness for their memories or say the Muslim prayer 'O thank you Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself' from The Children’s Book of Poems, Prayers and Meditations, compiled by Liz Attenborough (Thorsons, 1998).


  1. Tell the story told in the book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, producing the objects from the basket, if using, to help the children focus on the key points.

  2. Ask the children what they think Wilfrid managed to achieve. You might explore ideas such as helping Nancy to remember who she was, enabling other people to see her as someone interesting, helping her to feel that she was worth listening to.

  3. Consider what the story tells us about memories. It says that they can be warm, from long ago, make you cry and are as precious as gold. 

Time for reflection

Ask the children to think about what memories they have. Have them first identify a warm memory, then one from long ago, then something that makes them feel like crying and, finally, a very precious memory. Leave a little time between each thought.

Several children may be prepared to share one of their memories. They will all be unique.

Memories can't be seen from the outside, yet they make each one of us uniquely different and special on the inside.

You could ask the children to suggest what memories Jesus would have had and what objects might represent them, if they have enough knowledge to contribute to such a discussion. These objects could form a focus for the start of the next assembly.

Either say the prayer the group of children prepared about their thankfulness for their memories or the Muslim prayer 'O thank you Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself'.


‘I will bring to you the best gift I can offer’ (Come and Praise, 59)

Publication date: January 2015   (Vol.17 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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